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The Princess Royal to attend this May's SOE memorial ceremony at Valençay

Our Paris-based partner organisation, Libre Résistance, has confirmed the details of this year's ceremony at the SOE French Section memorial which commemorates the 104 F Section agents who did not return from active service. The memorial is located on the outskirts of Valençay (Indre, central France) and the ceremony will be attended by The Princess Royal, Patron of the Special Forces Club. It's traditional for this annual ceremony to take place on May 6th at 11am; but this year it will be on the 7th at midday; and in recognition of this being the 75th anniversary year of D-Day, there'll be a specially extended programme of talks, films, meals and visits to local places of interest. Secret WW2's co-founder Martyn Cox is also a Board member of Libre Résistance, and he and our Trustee Paul McCue will as usual be responsible for certain presentations and other aspects of the events programme. This will commence at 5 pm on Sunday 5th May, when there’ll be the opportunity to attend a short memorial service in the nearby town of Romorantin-Lanthenay, where five of the SOE agents are also named on its own Monument aux Morts.

Valençay's SOE memorial is located in a publicly-accessible area just outside the town centre, and so the official ceremony at midday on May 7th will be open to all, with no advance booking required - so by all means tell friends you feel might like to attend.

As this will be a larger ceremony than usual, due to the royal presence, certain security restrictions will apply - so all attendees should allow a little more time to reach Valençay and arrive on site.

The capacities of the venues for the other events will mean that access to those will be limited, with places to be prioritised and pre-registration essential. For some - notably the meals - there will be also a charge, with pre-payment required. The events programme will be managed overall by Libre Résistance. Invitations and subscription forms are currently being prepared, but you can register interest now by emailing Bill Beauclerk, the Vice-president of Libre Résistance:

The forms will be available shortly, and completing and returning these will enable Bill to get an idea of the number of people wishing to attend the talks, a lunch and a dinner.

As soon as more details become available these will also be available via this web page and our Facebook page, along with the facility to download the appropriate forms. PLEASE NOTE: If you know of family and friends who might be interested in attending this ceremony, then by all means pass on this information to them - or email Bill with their contact details so that he can send an invitation direct.


SOE memorial at Valençay on GOOGLE MAPS:

The Princess Royal last attended the Valençay ceremony in 2011

- seen here with the then President of Libre Résistance, the late Bob Maloubier DSO

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