Actress Virginia McKenna Opens Museum Dedicated to Wartime Heroine Szabo

Article excerpt

Actress Virginia McKenna has opened a new museum dedicated to Violette Szabo - the wartime heroine she played in the film Carve Her Name With Pride.

Set in a converted shed in Wormelow, near Hereford, the museum was the brainchild of Mrs Rosemary Rigby who spent 33 years living at Cartre, crrcta detached, stone house where Szabo's uncle lived.

"The house used to be Violette's bolt hole between missions," said Mrs Rigby, aged 62.

"I thought she was such a wonderful, brave person I wanted to create a permanent tribute to her memory, to inspire others and ensure no-one forgets about what she did."

The museum, opened on Saturday, will pay tribute to Szabo's exploits as a secret agent when she was operating behind enemy lines in France.

The 23-year-old became the first woman to be awarded the George Cross after her execution by firing squad in a German concentration camp in 1945.

She was part of a five-strong team of secret agents who parachuted into the Limogescorr area shortly after the D-Day landings. Their task was to mobilise the French Resistance and stop the German tanks being diverted to the Normandy coast from southern F rance, but she was ambushed near the tiny village of Salon-la-Tour and twisted an ankle while trying to escape through a cornfield. …