This year’s recipient of the Soldiering On International Award has been interviewed by the Sunday Express. Simone Segouin was a French Resistance fighter, and is being honoured for her bravery at this week’s award ceremony in London.
James Murray, writing for the Sunday Express, says:
Simone Segouin, 90, risked her life many times during the secret war against the Nazi occupiers, and became famous the world over when she was pictured wielding a gun in her distinctive shorts and cap.
She helped de-rail a train and blow up bridges in and around the city of Chartres, 50 miles south of Paris and was present at the liberation of both cities in 1944, when aged only 18.
One of Simone’s first missions was to steal a bicycle from a German soldier which, after a respray, she rode, as her reconnaissance transport.
Her MP-40 sub-machine gun was also taken from a German. Lord Richard Dannatt, former chief of the British Army, is chairman of the judging panel and wrote to Simone explaining why she was chosen.
He wrote: “The award is in recognition of your exemplary courage and devotion to the vital work carried out by the French Resistance during the Second World War.
“They were an inspiration to your fellow countrymen and women and to those of us in Britain, more than 70 years ago and they continue to be to this day, “We in Britain are still keenly aware of the vital role played by yourself and your comrades in weakening German morale prior to the Allied invasion of France, often at great personal sacrifice.
It said: “Your story is truly one of bravery and inspiration that serves as a reminder to all of what women can be capable of when faced with such atrocious circumstances.”
You can read the original article, and see wartime photos of Simone in action here.