tagNon-EroticEleanor Rigby

Eleanor Rigby


I'm sure that by now many have heard of Eileen Nearne, an eighty-nine year old woman who died alone in her flat in southwest England on September 2, 2010. With no known friends or relatives, the town of Torquay entered Miss. Nearne's tiny flat to search for records of someone to notify of the impending funeral.

No living relative or friend was found; her only sibling Jacqueline had died in 1982 and Miss. Nearne had been alone ever since. Yet what the authorities did turn up was an astounding historical treasure of medals and papers that revealed her to be a World War ll heroine with the code-name of Agent Rose. Eileen Nearne had defied the Nazis in occupied France as a wireless operator.

The English press ran with this story, calling Miss. Nearne, Eleanor Rigby as in the Beatles song of the same name. Saying she was to be buried along with her name, many papers ran a large photo of Nearne as a young woman in a racy black beret. Her posthumous skyrocket to fame has now changed all that. 'In her life, only her humility was larger than her courage and now her life should be sung about as much as the Beatles' Eleanor Rigby,' said the London Times in an editorial.

As part of the super secret Special Operations Executive (SOE), Eileen flew into France in 1944 to work undercover in helping to organize and coordinate a resistance fighter's network. As a child, Eileen had lived in France with her parents and her perfect French help to fool the Gestapo into thinking her a native when they first arrested her. She was released only to be re-aressted weeks later and eventually sent to a forced labor camp in Silesia. She escaped in 1945 only to be caught again but through perseverance she escaped one last time.

After the war, she and her sister who was also in the SOE were awarded the Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE). Eileen, who lived alone after her sister's death, never spoke to anyone of her wartime heroics. Eileen Nearne, truly a secret agent until after her death, now deserves some accolades and John Pentreath of the Royal British Legion has plans to do so at her funeral. A fitting tribute is all anyone can do for Miss. Nearne now but she deserves that at least and thankfully, at her funeral she will receive the honor and respect she deserves. The Legion, an organization dedicated to the welfare and memory of members and veterans of the British armed forces, has taken over the planning of her services and the country will have one last chance to thank Miss Nearne for her service above and beyond the call of duty to her country.

Eileen Nearne makes a person wonder how many more of our parents and grandparent's generation have left us with their contributions to ending a deadly war going unsung. They have lived the remainder of their lives un-praised and unknown. Although these heroes do not seek adulation, many of us feel their story should be told. Theirs is not the history of kings and generals but of the foot soldier, the takers of the hill and the grunt in the trenches. As an example, just a short time ago a man found out his father was responsible for preventing emperor Hirohito of Japan from committing suicide at the end of the war. The man rushed in just as the emperor was raising a gun to his head and at great peril to his own life got the weapon away from the emperor, saving him for the trial he deserved. The soldier never told his family anything about his days of serving his country and always refused to talk about it. It was only after the Pentagon released papers that contained his father's story did he learn what a hero his father had been. After his father confirmed that he indeed was the man named in the story, the son asked why he never told anyone about it and he merely said that he was just doing his job.

Just as we are now seeing the last veterans of World War l dying out, before too long there will be no one left who was there, who saw World War ll in real time. No one left to say they saw Auschwitz and it was real, not propaganda. No one to say they somehow survived the D-Day landings as their comrades in arms fell at their feet. Sure, this was the first war caught on film and that has helped a great deal in trying to understand what our parents and grandparents went through. However, when told in the first person you get the feeling and a reality that doesn't show up on film.

In closing I urge those of you who have family left who went through that great war, try to get them to open up to you, and talk of their experiences. I know my father made light of his contribution as a cadet in the Army Air Core. I knew he flew missions almost daily from somewhere in England to drop bombs in Germany. He talked of how the Germans were out of fuel and ammo and all was a free ride, except for the rockets they would send up after them. He did admit he was on the last plane out of England and so he stayed until the very end. It was only after he was gone and while going through his things where I found a box full of medals and ribbons did I learn it wasn't as easy as he led on. We know they didn't all win medals and ribbons but they all were heroes and they all deserve recognition.

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byBakeboss© 13 comments/ 18360 views/ 2 favorites

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by 26thNC02/21/19


Something this.moving from Bakeboss is beyond amazing. Thank you.

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