Friday, 11 December 2015

SOE Memorial, Lambeth Palace Road SE1

The memorial to the Special Operations Executive is topped by a bust of the woman who epitomises the bravery, skill and suffering of the agents tasked to 'set Europe ablaze'. Most of them were tortured and executed.
Violette Szabo was one of the most admired by her comrades in arms, said to be fearless. She died in Ravensbruck aged just 23.
The sculpture is by Karen Newman, a no-nonsense realist who worked for over 20 years at Madame Tussaud's making waxworks of figures from Jimi Hendrix to the Duke of Edinburgh. Her Szabo is serious, determined and lovely.
Newman seems to have cornered the market in lady resistance fighters, having also portrayed Noor Inayat Khan and Nancy Wake.


Hels said...

I paid attention to the name because my parents in law were Czech and Hungarian speakers. Szabo's parents seemed to be British and French, but her husband sounds very Hungarian. Neither of them lived long; Violette as you mentioned and her husband killed in North Africa during the war. What a total tragedy :(

Have you been to her museum?

Christopher Bellew said...

Where is the museum? I went to this memorial last month on Remembrance Sunday for a short wreath laying ceremony.

Hels said...


I have never been to Herefordshire but have a look at

Violette Szabo seemed like a very attractive young woman.