EnsignSZABO, VIOLETTE REINE ELIZABETH
Service Number F/29
Died Between 25/01/1945 and 05/02/1945
Women's Transport Service (F.A.N.Y.)
Special Operations Executive
Awarded the Croix de Guerre (France). Formerly of the A.T.S. Daughter of Charles George and Reine Blanche Bushell, of Long Jetty, New South Wales, Australia; wife of Lieut. Etienne Szabo, Free French Forces, killed in action at El Alamein. 24th October, 1942.
The following details are given in the London Gazette of 17th December, 1946
Madame Szabo volunteered to undertake a particularly dangerous mission in France. She was parachuted into France in April 1944, and undertook the task with enthusiasm. In her execution of the delicate researches entailed she showed great presence of mind and astuteness. She was twice arrested by the German security authorities, but each time managed to get away. Eventually, however, with other members of her group, she was surrounded by the Gestapo in a house in the south-west of France. Resistance appeared hopeless, but Madame Szabo, seizing a Sten gun and as much ammunition as she could carry, barricaded herself in part of the house, and, exchanging shot for shot with the enemy, killed or wounded several of them. By constant movement she avoided being cornered and fought until she dropped exhausted. She was arrested and had to undergo solitary confinement. She was then continuously and atrociously tortured, but never by word or deed gave away any of her aquaintances, or told the enemy anything of value. She was ultimately executed. Madame Szabo gave a magnificent example of courage and steadfastness.
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