Friday, 23 April 2021

The British Modern Military History Society

THE British Modern Military History Society is delighted to continue our first full season of twice monthly talks running until Christmas.

All talks are given by leading historians, writers and former military personnel and we are sure you will find them interesting and stimulating. particularly with questions and answers at the end.

The talk on Tuesday, October 6 at 2pm is called “The women of SOE, a cool and lonely courage” and will be given by professional historian Kate Vigurs.

This is the story of 39 women who were chosen to work in a secretive, clandestine and mainly male domain, Special Operations Executive, French section.

Ranging from housewives to grandmothers, shop assistants to countesses, they were taught silent killing, instinctive shooting and sabotage as well as survival tactics for life in Nazi occupied France.

They worked behind enemy lines as couriers and wireless operators, operating undercover and beyond the protection of the Geneva Convention.

Life expectancy was short, sometimes a mere six weeks, but these women worked and fought hard — often living in solitude with no friends or company, travelling hundreds of kilometers carrying vital yet incriminating information, receiving arms or vital supplies and risking everything to make contact with SOE HQ over the radio.

Dr Vigurs is an associate research fellow at the University of Leeds and a tour guide for Anglia Tours, covering the Western Front battlefields, Berlin and Krakow/Auschwitz. She regularly appears on TV and radio and recently filmed a documentary for the Yesterday channel which will air later this year.

The Zoom talk will open at 1.50pm and the talk will start at 2pm. We will a question and answer session at the end of the talk. The duration of the meeting will be about an hour.

We will send out an email which will include the joining instructions on the day of the talk. By clicking on the link you should be able to join the meeting. If you have any questions, please email

For those of you who are new to Zoom, please email and include your phone number and we will endeavour to help get you started.

Like many other organisations, the society can only survive in these difficult times with income from talks and donations to cover the costs of speakers, insurances, licence fees, the website etc as well as our continued contributions to military-related charities.

Therefore we are asking for a donation from everyone who attends the Zoom talks. The requested donation until December is as follows: single talk £5; block of five talks £20.

Payment can easily be made by bank transfer into the BMMHS account. Account name: British Modern Military History Society, Barclays Bank sort code 20 65 20; account number 13786250.

Use your initial and surname as the reference on your payment. If you would like an acknowledgement of receipt of payment, please email

The society hopes that our talks at Woodcote village hall can resume in January and there is a full programme of monthly meetings scheduled for 2021.

For more information, visit our Facebook page, email or visit

Andy Cockeram


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