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The story so far ...                                                                 In the media

November 16, 2016

Blue plaques unveiled to Second World War heroes

DAME Vera Lynn sent a special message of congratulations as four blue plaques to honour Brighton's Second World War secret agents were revealed. More than 300 people attended the event at Brighton's Corn Exchange, including relatives of the four Special Operations Executive (SOE) agents who were recognised.

Military representatives from Italy and France, where the four worked undercover, were also present as well as veterans and current servicemen and woman. The four secret agents recognised were Michael Trotobas, Jacqueline Nearne, Ronald Taylor and Edward Zeff.


The event, which is part of week of special talks, was put together by the educational charity The Secret World War Two Learning Network, The Brighton and Hove Commemorative Plaque Panel and the Brighton and Hove Heritage Commission. The blue plaques were unveiled on stage and will be placed around the city in the new year.

November 14, 2016

Second news feature screened on BBC South East Today


The second BRIGHTON'S SECRET AGENTS news feature to be screened by BBC South East Today was presented by Robin Gibson and included excerpts from specially filmed interviews with the SOE and intellgence historian Mark Seaman, biographer Clare Mulley, novelist Elizabeth Buchan and the charity's Martyn Cox. (Click on the Play arrow above to hear the audio from this TV feature.)

BBC South East Today

November 11, 2016

Live on BBC Sussex


The second coverage of BRIGHTON'S SECRET AGENTS on Radio Sussex - when the charity's Martyn Cox was once again a live guest on Neil Pringle's Breakfast show. (Click on the Play arrow above to listen to this interview.)

BBC Sussex

Edward Zeff: The WW2 spy who refused to reveal his secrets


In April 1942, a British submarine surfaced near the coast of Vichy France. Its mission: to infiltrate agents from the Special Operations Executive (SOE) into the region as spies. One of the operatives who landed on French soil that night was Eugene Zoltan.


Trained at SOE centres in Britain, his mission was to serve as a wireless operator near the city of Lyon. In that role he would transmit and receive coded messages, as well as helping other agents enter enemy territory and aiding those attempting to escape the Germans or their Vichy subordinates. But Eugene Zoltan was a cover name, issued to him by the SOE. His real name was Edward Zeff, and he was a 28-year old Brighton-born Jew.

October 31, 2016

Honour for Jewish war hero and camp survivor


A Jewish hero of the wartime Special Operations Executive (SOE) is to be honoured in Brighton next month.


Captain Edward Zeff, MBE, Croix de Guerre – to give him his full title – is one of four men born in the town who are to be honoured on 12 November with plaques at the Corn Exchange, recording their Second World War bravery.

Born in 1904, Zeff was the son of Simon and Hannah Zeff. Simon, a second generation immigrant tailor, became chairman of the Brighton and Hove Jewish Board of Guardians, the precursor of the local branch of Jewish Care.

September 05, 2016

West Hill born Secret Agent remembered


Sussex educational charity the Secret WW2 Learning Network will be honouring  four Brighton-born secret agents during Remembrance Week in November.

The four agents are Lieutenant Jacqueline Nearne, Captain Edward Zeff and Captain Michael Trotobas who all operated clandestinely in German-occupied France; and Captain Ronald Taylor who served as a sabotage specialist with Partisan forces in northern Italy. While Nearne, Zeff and Taylor survived the war, Trotobas was killed in 1943 during a shoot-out with German forces in Lille.

June 05, 2016

Honour for the unsung wartime secret agents

A charity hopes to raise the profile of a “little-known wartime hero” and three of her brave colleagues with a very special birthday present.

Sussex educational charity the Secret WW2 Learning Network has unveiled plans to honour four Brighton-born secret agents on the 100th birthday of “one of the bravest daughters of Brighton and Hove” Jacqueline Nearne.

June 01, 2016

News feature screened on BBC South East Today


The BRIGHTON'S SECRET AGENTS news feature shown by BBC South East Today included interviews recorded with the charity's Martyn Cox and also with Roger Amerena, who was interviewed outside Embassy Court (the future site of the Edward Zeff blue plaque) on the day after he'd been elected Chairman of the Brighton & Hove Commemoraive Plaque Panel. (Seen on the right with the BBC correspondent Sara Smith and cameraman Peter Geary)

BBC South East Today

May 30, 2016

Brighton-born secret agents to be honoured


Plans to honour four Brighton-born secret agents were announced on what would have been the 100th birthday of one of them, Jacqueline Nearne. The initiative, which includes unveiling blue plaques, was announced by the Sussex educational charity the Secret WW2 Learning Network.

May 26, 2016

Live on BBC Sussex


The first media coverage of BRIGHTON'S SECRET AGENTS - when the charity's Martyn Cox was a live guest on Neil Pringle's Radio Sussex Breakfast radio show. (Click on the Play arrow above to listen to this interview.)

May 08, 2016

Live on BBC Radio 4's TODAY programme


MI6 veteran Geoffrey Pidgeon and the Charity's Martyn Cox were interviewed by The Today programme’s Sarah Montague about the commemorative events they've instigated in the Buckinghamshire village of Whaddon, to commemorate its hardly known wartime role.

This tiny village was virtually taken over during WW2 by MI6's Section VIII, to become its top secret communications hub for the dessemmination to the appropriate Allied military units of the vital intelligence obtained by the code-breakers at nearby Bletchley Park. Also at Whaddon was a workshop producing technical equipment for the Britain's secret services including 'suitcase wireless sets' carried by SIS and SOE agents operating behind enemy lines in occupied countries.

More information about this special weekend of events can be found HERE

January 14, 2016

Story of war hero Michael Trotobas finally revealed 70 years after he was killed by the Germans

...  even to this day, the name Trotobas is respected and celebrated in Lille. Perhaps now it is time for us to do the same here in Brighton and Hove.

Download a copy of the original feature by clicking HERE

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BBC Sussex - Friday 11th Nov 2016 - Martyn Cox interview
BBC Sussex - May 27th 2016 - Martyn Cox interviewed
BBC South East Today - Tues 15th Nov 2016 - audio of TV News feature
BBC Radio 4 TODAY - May 9th 2016 - Martyn Cox & Geoffrey Pidgeon interviewed
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