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Kensington and Chelsea in Greater London, England, United Kingdom — Northwestern Europe (the British Isles)
 

Vera Atkins

née Rosenberg

 
 
Vera Atkins Marker image. Click for full size.
Courtesy of Martin Sugarman, August 4, 2022
1. Vera Atkins Marker
Inscription.  
Commander of the Order of the British Empire, Croix de Guerre, Legion of Honour

[Star of David]

A Jewish pre-war British spy, Vera joined Special Operations Executive (SOE), as an Intelligence Squadron Officer, F Section, overseeing the missions of secret agents to France.
She lived at 725 Nell Gwynn House in WW2
הֲלוֹא צִוִּיתִיךָ חֲזַק וֶאֱמָץ
“Be Strong and of good courage.” (Joshua 1:9)

 
Erected 2022 by the Jewish American Society for Historic Preservation, U.K. Branch, and AJEX U.K.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: War, World IIWomen. In addition, it is included in the Jewish American Society for Historic Preservation. series list.
 
Location. 51° 29.521′ N, 0° 9.873′ W. Marker is in Kensington and Chelsea,
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England, in Greater London. Marker is at the intersection of Whitehead’s Grove and Sloane Avenue, on the left when traveling east on Whitehead’s Grove. Located on the side of the building adjacent to the Frederick Douglas blue plaque. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 5 Whitehead’s Grove / Nell Gwnn House, Kensington and Chelsea, England SW3, United Kingdom. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Chelsea World War I Memorial (approx. half a kilometer away); Sir Henry Cole (approx. 0.6 kilometers away); Twelve Responses to Tragedy (approx. 0.7 kilometers away); Victoria and Albert Museum (approx. 0.7 kilometers away); The Chelsea Physic Garden (approx. 0.8 kilometers away); Bomb Damage (approx. 0.8 kilometers away); Ralph Vaughn Williams O.M. (approx. 0.9 kilometers away); The Boy David (approx. one kilometer away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Kensington and Chelsea.
 
More about this marker. The Atkins marker is another in the series of U.K. markers funded by the Jewish America Society for Historic Preservation (JASHP). The series is managed and placed by JASHP's U.K. Branch.
 
Regarding Vera Atkins. Vera May Atkins, Commander of the Order of the British Empire, Croix de Guerre, Legion of Honor, (June 15, 1908 – June 24, 2000), was a Romanian-born Jewish British intelligence officer. In Romania, she worked as
Vera Atkins Marker image. Click for full size.
Courtesy of Martin Sugarman, August 4, 2022
2. Vera Atkins Marker
a British spy getting very close to the Nazi ambassador and extracting vital information about Nazi plans in Europe.

In the U.K., as a refugee, she overcame British discrimination, being both a female and Jew. Her prodigious skills as a linguist, memory, management, hard work, personal courage, and toughness were broadly respected. Quickly, she became a vital link in the British clandestine operations, S.O.E., Special Operations Executive. She eventually ran over 400 spies in Occupied Nazi France between 1941-1945.

She was the first woman, if not one of the very first women, ever to have achieved her level of operational influence and control in the S.O.E.'s history.
 
Also see . . .  The Story Of Vera Atkins, The Fearless British Spymaster Who Inspired James Bond’s Moneypenny. Vera Atkins, persona and in real life, remained secretive and discrete. Though subject to the Official Secrets Act, enough could be gleaned to see, opaquely, a master spy to the end.
"She took on many roles as a spy, including recruiting, training, and planning secret operations in France — and managed to decipher coded German messages that no one else could. Indeed, her exploits were so impressive that they later inspired writer Ian Fleming, who based the fictional character “M” on Atkins in his James Bond novels."
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(Submitted on August 4, 2022, by Jerry Klinger of Boynton Beach, Florida.) 
 
Additional keywords. British spies, clandestine operations
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on August 9, 2022. It was originally submitted on August 4, 2022, by Jerry Klinger of Boynton Beach, Florida. This page has been viewed 197 times since then and 20 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on August 4, 2022, by Jerry Klinger of Boynton Beach, Florida. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.

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Apr. 25, 2024