Commemoration to honour Nancy Wake in Port Macquarie
The Ambassador of France participated in a ceremony on Saturday 17 November in Port Macquarie to mark the unveiling of a plaque dedicated to Nancy Wake, the famous Australian who participated in the French Resistance during the Second World War. Wake, who died in London in August 2011, expressed as her final wish for her ashes to be scattered throughout the Montulçon region in Central France, the very same into which she had parachuted in March 1944. Given the title ‘the white mouse’ by the Gestapo because of her ability to keep out of the grasp of the Germans, Nancy Wake played a vital role in the British Special Operations Executive in liaising between the Resistance in France and Great Britain. For her contributions she was awarded the French Croix de Guerre and the title of officer in the Order National de la Légion d’Honneur.
An Australian association, the Airborne and Special Forces Association presided over by M. Allan Miles decided to pay homage to Nancy Wake by erecting a plaque in all of the cities in which Nancy Wake lived. This is why in recent months plaques have been unveiled in Wellington (where Wake was born), in Marseille (where she married a French businessman), in London (where she lived out her last few years) and finally in Port Macquaire where she lived for a number of years following the Second World War.
During the ceremony, also attended by the British High Commissioner to Australia, M. Paul Madden, the Ambassador of France paid tribute to the memory of Nancy wake through the following speech.