Daphne ParkDaphne Margaret Sybil Désirée Park, Baroness Park of Monmouth joined the First Aid Nursing Yeomanry (FANY) in 1943. During the selection process she came to the attention of the Special Operations Executive (SOE), thanks to her understanding of ciphers. She was soon promoted to the rank of sergeant and trained groups of operatives for Operation Jedburgh whose task was to support the Resistance in Europe. She goes on to serve with Mi6 and shares some amazing details. A remarkable woman with a truly remarkable life. Daphne passed away on the 24th of March 2010.
Daphne Park – Film 1In this the first of 14 films, Daphne talks of her very humble beginnings. She was sent to Africa as a chile and schooled by her almost blind mother. When she was 11 she returned to the UK and by 1943 she was desperate to do her bit. She talks in detail about her selection
Daphne Park – Film 2Assigned to work with the Jedburghs, in this film she details their set-up and objectives. She was trusted with BIGOT status. This was the highest level of secrecy awarded to the very select few who knew the date of D-Day. Not one to be pushed around she is demoted and loses her stripes
Daphne Park – Film 3Despite her misunderstanding Daphne is kept a a Briefing Officer where she starts to work with a group of French soldiers who were to be dropped into North Africa prior to D-Day. Major-General Sir Colin McVean Gubbins personally decides that Daphne should be a commissioned officer so she can serve more effectively. A discussion takes place between the head of the Fany and eventually she is commissioned as an Ensign and sent to Massingham, an SOE base in Algiers.
Daphne Park – Film 4Post-war and Daphne is seconded to Field Intelligence Agency Technical British Intelligence Objective Sub-Committee which was Anglo-French, British and American and was based in Frankfurt but with a major office in Berlin. But things dont go according to plan and she is fortunate to return to England to see her mother [for the first time since she was 11 years old!]
Daphne Park – Film 5Daphne recalls a very amusing incident in Massingahm - just before the war ended, where she becomes the head of a jail for the night
Daphne Park – Film 6Daphne realises that food could be used to coax information from the Germans that were laying low to avoid capture and kidnap by the Russians.
Daphne Park – Film 7Daphne recalls the remarkable bravery of an F Section secret agent called Dennis Rake. Click here to learn more: bit.ly/22P93Eq
Daphne Park – Film 8Daphne recalls ticking off a brave Jewish Frenchman called Rosenthal because he was too brazen in his support of DeGaulle and the Maquis. This was after sharing a breakfast with I'm in Claridges !
Daphne Park – Film 9Back in wartime London and Daphne recalls that when it comes to secrecy, not much gets past a London cabbie. She finds this out around the same time that a German Doble Agent throws a knife at her during a training session
Daphne Park – Film 10During the period in 1943 when Daphne lost her strips, she was keen to go to Europe and use her French in the field. But her knowledge was considered too dangerous to fall in tot he hands of the Gestapo and she was flatly refused.
Daphne Park – Film 11Daphne talks about the hierarchy within the SOE. most of the Officers wouldnt have been above Major. I mean there was the odd Lieutenant Colonel, there wasnt very much top brass and what there was was highly unusual people like Gubbins himself and Wingate and they were all mavericks, individuals
Daphne Park – Film 12Daphne talks in some detail about the late Leoppld Marks. She reflects on his poems, his civilian status and that he was a curious mixture of good and ill. On one mission she says she found it a trifle irritating to be sent to Scotland with nothing but a toothbrush, but [laughs] at that stage of my life you know everything was wonderful and I didnt really argue about it much, but later on I thought it wasnt very bright.
Daphne Park – Film 13Daphne talks about the Gamble sisters who were in charge of the Fany. She reflect that they were distant and quite representative of the First World war Fany.
Daphne Margaret Sybil Désirée Park, Baroness Park of Monmouth joined the First Aid Nursing Yeomanry (FANY) in 1943. During the selection process she came to the attention of the Special Operations Executive (SOE), thanks to her understanding of ciphers. She was soon promoted to the rank of sergeant and trained groups of operatives for Operation Jedburgh whose task was to support the Resistance in Europe.
She goes on to serve with Mi6 and shares some amazing details. A remarkable woman with a truly remarkable life. Daphne passed away on the 24th of March 2010.