World War II Ace, Nancy Wake (Poem)

When I was sixteen

I ran away from home

Became a nurse

Went to London

Became a journalist

A European correspondent.

Married a Frenchman

Drove an ambulance

In World War II

Became a courier

For the French Resistance

Joined Garrow’s escape network.

I was champ at giving

The Nazis the slip

Famous Women

They called me The White Mouse.

The Gestapo tapped my phone

Opened my mail

My life was in danger

So the Resistance

Used me sparingly.

In two years I was the

Gestapo’s Most Wanted person

In Marseilles with a reward of

5 million francs on my head.

After the network was betrayed

I decided to escape France

“I’d pass the German checkpoints

Wink and smile and say

Do you want to search me?”

I was arrested but a friend helped

Said I was his mistress

Was trying to hide our affair

From my husband.

Seventh time lucky

Crossed the Pyrenees to Spain.

When I reached Britain

I joined the Special Operations Executive

Trained as an agent

They said I was a

Good and fast shot.

I parachuted in France

Liason between London and the local gueriila group

Recruited more of them

Attacked bridges, railway lines, German convoys

We destroyed the Gestapo headquarters in Montlucon

38 Germans died.

I discovered my men were harbouring

A woman German spy

The softies couldn’t kill her in cold blood

When I offered to do the deed

They agreed to do their job.

I killed an SS sentry

With my bare hands

So that he wouldn’t raise an alarm

During a raid.

I’d learnt this judo chop stuff

With the flat of the hand in Britain

“This was the only time I used it

It killed him alright

I was surprised.”

When my wireless operator had to

Destroy codes during a German raid,

I rode a bicycle for 300+ kilometres

To reach another wireless operator

To message London.

Then I rode that bicycle back

All in 72 hours.

I was awarded medals after the war

I sold them

“There was no point keeping them

I’d probably go to hell and

They’d melt anyway.”

Here’s another poem in my Famous Women series.

Read more about Nancy Wake in comic form here.

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