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 ... a unique and very special commemorative week during November 2016

In May 2016 The Secret WW2 Learning Network announced its initiative for four commemorative blue plaques to recognise the wartime work of four Brighton-born secret agents - and it's believed this was the first time an application has been made for multiple plaques.


Its co-founders Martyn Cox and Martyn Bell and the Trustees then worked with several partners and funders to develop a wide-ranging programme of public events this month to include, on November 12th, the ‘grand reveal’ in a single ceremony of the four commemorative blue plaques that will later be put up in honour of -

   Lt Jacqueline Nearne MBE, CdeG           Capt Michael Trotobas                    Capt Edward Zeff MBE, CdeG                    Capt Ronald Taylor













Three of these agents had worked for the “French Section” of Britain’s new WW2 secret service known as the Special Operations Executive (SOE) which had been specially created by Winston Churchill to support resistance in occupied countries; whereas Ronald Taylor had operated in Italy with its resisting partisans. Michael Trotobas was killed in action but the others survived their missions.


You can read about the individual exploits of the four Brighton-born secret agents being honoured by clicking on the images of their BRIGHTON'S SECRET AGENTS blue plaques - and click HERE for a general SOE history. To find out how these four agents and also some of their fellow WW2 'secret warriors' have been (and will continue to be) commemorated in Brighton and Hove from November 2016 onwards, just click on the past dates listed at the bottom of this page, or the future dates listed via the EVENTS menu button above.

Please note that it won't be until during the first half of 2017 that these four blue plaques will actually be placed where each of these wartime secret agents had either been born or had lived, and be officially unveiled. These will provide lasting recognition in Brighton and Hove of the courage, ingenuity and resilience of these men and woman while working ‘behind the lines’ in occupied Europe.


Talks, films, displays and the instigation of school projects instigated by the Charity - plus its specially published book - are ensuring that the local population and also visitors to the city will have every opportunity to learn about these agents’ individual exploits 'behind enemy lines', and why and how they'd volunteered to serve their country in this way - and also to appreciate the importance of their courageous roles within the context of the bigger wartime picture of Allied special operations and intelligence gathering. Hence the full heading for this initiative - BRIGHTON’S SECRET AGENTS: Britain's Secret WW2.

To help us share such inspiring aspects of modern history The Secret WW2 Learning Network has already been very fortunate (and honoured) to have had the support of an impressive array of experts - writers, historians and film-makers - and the Charity gained support and funding for this ambitious initiative via its existing relationship with the Resistance Studies Network at the University of Sussex, and also by working closely with the Brighton and Hove Heritage Commission.

Via the University of Sussex, The Gerry Holdsworth Special Forces Charitable Trust was the notable funder, and the additional partners, venues and supporters which also came on board included Brighton Dome, the Royal Pavilion, The Keep, City Books, AVT Connect, Format Display and The Unicorn Publishing Group.


Clicking on the buttons below will take you to the originally advertised November 2016 programme which was specially devised and arranged by the Charity in support of the 'grand reveal' of the four blue plaques. Many of these events featured, or were attended by, veterans, dignitaries and specially invited guest speakers - and day-by-day reports with photos can be found in the NEWS section of this web site. The Programme booklet for Sat 12th November can be downloaded by clicking HERE - and details of the whole week are here -

In addition ... these three books were especially published to coincide with the Brighton's Secret Agents week. Please consider buying at least one of them because some of the sales income from each will benefit the Charity ...

Click HERE for more information on each of these three books
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