Meet some not so secret “SOE agents” at Tangmere this weekend
The Charity’s links with the participants of the BBC Two ‘immersive history’ series Secret Agent Selection: WW2 have led to four of the finalist ‘student’ agents kindly agreeing to participate in the SOE events programme currently underway at the Tangmere Military Aviation Museum, near Chichester. On Sunday 5th August Debbey Clitheroe, Rohini Bajaj, Lizzie Jefferys and Rob Copsey will be at Tangmere for a specially arranged SOE ‘living history’ event, along with the psychologist Dr Mike Rennie who was also in the programmes, and whose day job is working with the Ministry of Defence in the training of military officers.
These five SECRET AGENT SELECTION: WW2 participants had all been very keen to be at Tangmere together as part of its SOE events programme, but the museum was only able to confirm all five quite late in the day. This was thanks to the co-ordination efforts of the Charity's co-founder Martyn Cox while some of the five were still juggling their other commitments, and then making their respective travel arrangements. But this has resulted in a terrific outcome and we thank them all for their generosity and making such an effort.
Anyone who enjoyed the series on BBC Two, or has since been watching it on DVD or via download or on Netflix, will know that for the last episode Rob Copsey had travelled to Chichester for a filmed interview with the local WW2 veteran Fred Bailey Ld'H, CdG, an SOE wireless operator who’d parachuted behind enemy lines in occupied France and then Burma.
Fred was at Tangmere less than two weeks ago for the grand reveal of its recently acquired replica Lysander, and has been invited back to the museum for Sunday 5th, so that visitors and Rob’s fellow participants can all hear first-hand about the wartime exploits for which Fred was mentioned in despatches and received two medals from the French government.
Just in case personal appearances by a ‘real’ SOE veteran plus five participants from the BBC's "Secret Agent Selection: WW2" still aren’t enough, The Baker Street Boys re-enactors group will be on hand throughout, with SOE gadgets and weapons on display.
Plus ... the Charity’s keen supporter Ian Titman will also be there to answer questions about the WW2 clandestine 'pick-up' flights, which 161 Sqn operated out of RAF Tangmere during what was known as each month's 'moon period'; and the Charity's Carol Brown will be assisting with what should prove an enjoyable and informative bonus for all the museum’s visitors that day. This unique 'one-day only' programme should provide a memorable experience for anyone who can get to Tangmere this Sunday, and especially for those already keen on SOE history.
PROGRAMME: The following will take place between 11am and 3pm in a special area next to the museum’s recently acquired replica Special Duties Lysander, with these approxmate timings:
12.30 - Q&A session with the Secret Agent Selection: WW2 team
13.30 - Q&A session with SOE veteran Fred Bailey Ld'H, CdG
14.00 - Q&A session with Ian Titman on the wartime "pick-up" operations from RAF Tangmere
14.30 - Second Q&A session with the Secret Agent Selection: WW2 team
Please also note that at 2pm this Thursday, August 2nd, the Charity’s co-founder Martyn Bell will be giving a talk at the Tangmere museum on the French resistance leader Jean Moulin.
Images courtesy of -
BBC/Wall To Wall - Debbey Clitheroe - Fred Bailey - Martyn Cox - Louisa Russell - Ann Palmer
FOR MORE INFO CONTACT: firstname.lastname@example.org / 01243 790 090
TALKS PROGRAMME: www.tangmere-museum.org.uk/soe_talks_programme
HOW TO GET THERE: www.tangmere-museum.org.uk/tickets-and-visiting
The series is also available on Netflix, in the retitled format of "Churchill’s Secret Agents: The New Recruits" and this trailer is a punchy and very welcome reminder of the series: www.netflix.com/title/80195811
Clips from the BBC series can be viewed here: www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b09zg6dm/clips