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Anne-Marie Walters (1923–1998)

Author of Moondrop to Gascony

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Anne-Marie Walters was born in Geneva to an English father and a French mother. Her father had served as deputy secretary-general of the League of Nations. The family left Switzerland for England at the outbreak of World War II, and at age 17, Walters joined the Women's Auxiliary Air Force (WAAFs). In 1943, she was recruited into the British Special Operations Executive (SOE), the organization created to conduct espionage and sabotage of the Nazis in Europe. After training in Scotland, in 1944 she parachuted into the Armagnac area of southwest France. She acted as a courier, delivered explosives, arranged the escape of downed airmen, and received parachute drops of arms and personnel at dead of night. On the eve of the liberation of France, she was sent on foot over the Pyrenees to Spain, carrying urgent dispatches for London. After the war, she was awarded the MBE from the British for her work in occupied France and the Croix de Guerre and the Médaille de la Reconnaissance française from the French government. She wrote an account of her experiences, Moondrop to Gascony (1946). The book won the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize in 1947. After the war, she married her childhood friend Jean-Claude Comert, with whom she had two children. They spent several years in New York before returning to France in 1955. Anne-Marie worked as a translator and as a sub-editor at France Soir, then moved to Spain, where she set up her own publishing agency.
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