Discussion in 'SOE & OSS' started by kingarthur, Sep 14, 2010.
Frank Fallows is a new one on me - any further details please
Speak to Fruitcake on here. He conversed with Frank before he died.
Hello - I was searching through Google for Gerard De Stoppelaar and found this thread on your board. I am wondering if it is the same "Gerry" De Stoppelaar who was a grower at Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, PA when I was a student there in the mid-1970's. I always wondered about his service - I knew it was very covert and little spoken of.
He had a heavy accent and was one of the best growers and teachers of the art of growing flowers I ever knew. The other growers spoke of Gerry's heroic service in Holland during the war, but Gerry didn't speak of it much. He did tell me how horribly the people of Holland suffered - they were starving and were eating tulip bulbs to survive, and how the bulbs were slowly poisoning everyone. He also said one time that, for his birthday, the people of the village where he was cooked the last cat in town in his honor.
I know little at this point about the SOE and Englandspiel but I appreciate the information posted here and hope to find out more, and discover whether the kind and mild mannered Gerry who added so much to my education was indeed the gentleman listed as a Dutch SOE.
There is a Geradus de Stoopelaar born in 1916 who deployed to Berkel near Rotterdam on 15/16 September 1944 - he has a P/F at TNA Kew
The Stoppelaar file is open so I'll have a peek on Tusday and if there is a mugshot I'll post it
Gustave "Guy" Bieler was the cousin of my boss, and was also in the same CDN Army regiment (Regiment de Maisonneuve) as my late uncle, Lt. Col. Lucien Lalonde.
A true hero.
Thanks so much!
Geradus Stopellaar's mugshot from his PF
That's him! Although I knew him at least 30 years after this picture I recognize his features. He kept his looks as he aged. Wow, I so appreciate your finding this for me. It puts context to the stories that I heard when I was a student.
He had such a great personality and influenced so many young gardeners. The story told to me was that after the war the government of Great Britain asked him what he wanted to do with his life. He said "I want to go to America and grow flowers". If that is true, he succeeded beyond his dreams.
The British tried very hard to make the lives of their wartime agents better in peacetime as a reward for their wartime services - their were distinct policies laid down to help with this in 1944-45. Often the rewards would be help with education, jobs and help in relocation to places outside of Europe, Africa, the USA and Australasia were favoured destinations.
I don't know if you are aware of the circumstances of his death in May 1989. A sad end fort such a brave person. It also mentions the story of his request to travel to America
Hi John - yes, I knew how Gerry died but I'd never read about it. Nice to see the confirmation of the story of the Queen.
Gerry was hard of hearing, and the official story is that he didn't hear the train. The unofficial story amongst his friends was that he'd been diagnosed with cancer and felt his time was up and wanted to go "his way". No one knows, but I can imagine that, after seeing so much in one's lifetime, death would not be such a frightening prospect.
He was a great man, and a good friend. I am honored to have been one of his students. Thank you so much for finding this information for me. You are quite the researcher!
Thanks but credit for the newspaper obituary must go to an American friend who shares my interest in Dutch SOE and sent it over to enable us to get Gerry's file opened.
Please thank him for me!
For anyone interested... Gerardus de Stoppelaar was my grandfather.. Worked for Longwood Gardens in PA. Lived in Wilmington, DE. He passed in 1989, but my grandmother Mildred deStoppelaar is still alive. I am interested to talk to anyone who knew him.
Yes, I recollect seeing a programme/documentary about him...Funny my father was in w.w.2 in intelligence ,french resistence movement,don't know too much about him, but when I was a teenager living in London, he mentioned my going to see Hardy Amies for a position as a house model, it appearedhe was in the fashion business at that time in Saville Row. Nothing clicked then but after seeing that programme I felt my father must have known or worked with him maybe.... Anybody hear of Frederick Simon Davidson French Lieutenant but worked for the british intelligence? Paratrooper, legion of honour medal..dont know much more any links info would be gratefully accepted, thankyou
This reply was to do with Sir Hardy Amies
Simon, welcome to the forum.
If you don't have it already Frederick Simon Davidson's SOE personal file is available at the National Archives: Detecting your browser settings
Drop me a PM if you need a copy of it.
Hello ,I remember seeing a documentary on Sir Hardy Amies and it triggered me to see if my father knew him.He was in W.W.2 in the french resistence I cannot trace anything on him, I know he was working for british intelligence ,he was french lieutenant received the croix de guerre and the legion of honour, he was also in W.W.1 . age 14 years now deceased. I was wondering if he had anything to do with "Rat Week"?? Why I feel he either worked or knew of Hardy Amies is because when I was a teenager he told me to ask for a position as a house model for him. At the time he had shop premises at Saville Row..Obviously my fathercould not divulge any secret knowledge about his time in the intelligence but I look back and think it was a little too much of a coincidence..Any info or liks would be greatly appreciated
One agent who seems to be missing from the list is someone I've done research on in the past: Captain Jacques Vaillant de Guelis.
Sorry I can't help with details of your father, but the doco on Hardy was part of the Secret War series - Hardy Amies and Operation Ratweek. It was screened here in NZ a few weeks ago and it's the first time I've seen it.
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