Searching for an SOE/WAAF officer named ‘Renée’.

Discussion in 'The Women of WW2' started by Room 3603, Dec 12, 2011.

  1. Room 3603

    Room 3603 Junior Member

    Bit of a long shot this, but I’m trying to pick up the trail of a young WAAF officer with the Christian name of 'Renée'. I don’t have her surname I’m afraid.

    Renée was English, not French, although she had a distinctly attractive, black haired, olive skinned, southern French appearance, wrote her name in the French way and spoke French almost fluently.

    At some time during WW2 she was based at Bawdsey.

    At least by 1944 Renée had joined SOE’s - ‘F’ Section, where she worked directly for Vera Atkins and Maurice Buckmaster.

    Her primary responsibilities concerned the ‘details’ prepping and appraisal of agents during their final few weeks of training prior to being inserted into France, although Renée never took part in overseas missions herself.

    She befriended Violet Szabo and was with her at the airfield when she departed on her second and tragically final mission in 1944.

    Renée also became involved with Flight-Lieutenant Ron Hockey of 138 Special Duties Squadron, and they subsequently remained close friends until Renée’s passing in Hampshire, sometime during the late 1990’s as far as I can tell. F.L. Hockey was the Halifax pilot who flew the team of Czeck and Slovak assassin agents into Czechoslovakia in Dec 1941 as part of Operation Anthropoid, which resulted in the killing of Reinhard Heydrich in Prague, six months later.

    This is pretty much all I have on ‘Renée’. Not much to go on I know, but I’d be delighted to hear any helpful suggestions or random thoughts anyone may have as to where I might start pointing my flashlight with this one.

  2. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

  3. Assam

    Assam Senior Member

    I know it's a long shot but there appears to be a Renee Watson (sane spelling) stationed At bawdsley in at least 1950-51.


  4. Jedburgh22

    Jedburgh22 Very Senior Member

    From what you write she appears to have acted as an F Section Conductor or perhaps a driver delivering agents to the departure airfield.
  5. Jedburgh22

    Jedburgh22 Very Senior Member

    Having looked at my databases there a couple of likely candidates - however their files are still closed.
  6. Room 3603

    Room 3603 Junior Member

    Hi Phil
    You seem to have already posted this in another forum

    Perhaps you should get the moderators to delete one - duplicate threads can cause confusion.

    No “seem” about it DBF. You’ve got me fair and square. I cannot deny the evidence you’ve displayed before this forum here because yes, I have to admit, that looks conspicuously like a deaded link to another identical new thread I prepared earlier. So it’s ‘Hände Hoch!’ for me and guilty as charged I’m afraid because - “Yes, I fully and openly confess to having deliberately contrived to duplicate this thread in the Special Forces/SOE forum as well as this one”.

    Villainous and shameful of me I know, but by way of polite explanation and in mitigation, my simple minded ‘newie’ member logic told me that my appeal for help for a missing lady person here would reach out to a far wider readership if posted on two separate forums, instead of just one. My reasoning being that not all members of the ‘Special Forces’ sub forum necessarily belong to this forum as well (?) and Renée ‘was’ a member of SOE as well as a serving WAAF of WW2. You see, in my village, if you loose a cat, you put a card up about it in the shop windows of ‘all’ the neighbouring villages as well as your own.

    Now if the moderators (no disrespect intended here by the way mods!) would like to let this naughty little boy here know why it’s generally frowned upon to duplicate threads such as this type across another forum as well, I will sincerely and humbly promise to respect their wishes in future. Honest. After which they can gaily cart me off out back of this site and give me a damned-good-thrashing.

    Just had a great idea; If it’s a definite no no to post duplicate threads of this particular and fairly unique nature, perhaps a way round it would be to let this one run for say a month or so to see if anyone else responds as helpfully as they already have here, then just take it down from this forum and put it back up again in the Special Forces/SOE forum after dark one night when no one’s looking? Or…failing that, what about if I just get really sneaky and camouflage it a bit by changing Renée’s name to say – Bob – or something and then just nail it up there again? Do you think the guys over at ‘Special Forces’ forum would ever notice? I mean I know it would cost me yet another good beating behind this site from the mods, but it would be worth it surely, just to try and get a handle on Renée, ooops sorry, I meant - ‘Bob’.

    Truly sorry everyone, but in my feeble and pathetic defence, and I know it sounds terribly naïve and sad to have to say this, but I really didn’t think anyone would mind, let alone be confused, and after all…it is nearly Christmas isn’t it.

    Good tidings of festive joy to one and all never the less…and thanks again for your constructive and helpful responses ‘Assam’ and ‘Jedburgh22’. Appreciate it.

  7. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    Phil if you have 2 similar posts running you are likely either to get the same people answering two times, or different people answering on the different threads, perhaps duplicating material, time and effort.

    Also, if they're kept to one thread, contributors might be able to feed off a previous reply and work a little bit more on the all important appeal for help.

    New threads pop up either on the portal page or via Today's posts facility under Quick links heading. So a duplicate thread, whether done intentionally or by accidentally clicking the submit button once too often, will show up on the forum list anyway the minute a member logs in. Tempting though it may be for some of us :), most members do not frequent one and only one sub-forum, but will see all that's been posted since they last visited.

    It's really no big deal for mods to sort out, but keeping to one thread helps keep the place tidy and, matters simple and uncomplicated for the original poster and those who are kind enough to reply. Even merging threads later can lead to a peculiar and confusing order in the conversations.

    Change you mind about where a thread belongs? - ask a mod to move it. Want to bring it back to the attention of the forum again? - just post as a reply if anyone has anything further they can add.

    Hope that helps.
    Regards and good luck
  8. Room 3603

    Room 3603 Junior Member

    Having looked at my databases there a couple of likely candidates - however their files are still closed.


    Assam/Simon has discovered a WAAF by the name of 'Renee Watson' at Bawdsey in 50/51. Does this surname cross reference with any of your own possible candidates from your own files?


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