Madeleine Damerment

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Madeleine Damerment
Kz-dachau 3.JPG
Memorial in Dachau to Damerment and fellow agents Yolande Beekman, Noorunisa Inayat Khan, Eliane Plewman
Nickname(s) Agent Bricklayer, Solange, Dancer, Martine
Born (1917-11-11)11 November 1917
Lille, France
Died 13 September 1944(1944-09-13) (aged 26)
Dachau concentration camp, Germany
Allegiance United Kingdom, France
Service/branch Special Operations Executive, French Resistance
Years of service 1944
Rank Field agent and guerrilla commander
Commands held SOE F Section networks#Bricklayer
Awards Légion d'honneur, Croix de Guerre, Médaille de la Résistance

Madeleine Zoe Damerment (11 November 1917[1] – 13 September 1944) was a World War II spy and Special Operations Executive (SOE) agent.

Early life[edit]

Madeleine Damerment was born in Lille, the daughter of the city's postmaster. Following the occupation of France by the Germans in World War II, her family became actively involved with the French resistance. Twenty-two-year-old Madeleine worked as an assistant to Michael Trotobas[who?] on the escape line set up by Albert Guérisse. She helped downed British airmen and others to escape France until 1942, when it is believed that one of her fellow resistance workers, Harold Cole, betrayed the group and she had to flee to England.

Special Operations Executive[edit]

Once in England, Damerment volunteered to work with the Special Operations Executive. Trained to be a courier for the "Bricklayer" network, on the night of 28 February 1944, she and agents France Antelme and Lionel Lee were parachuted into a field near the city of Chartres in France. However, they had been betrayed and the waiting Gestapo arrested them on landing.

Shipped to Gestapo headquarters on the Avenue Foch in Paris, Damerment was subjected to examination and torture. On 12 May 1944 she was sent with several other captured SOE agents to the civilian prison for women at Karlsruhe, Germany. She was held there under horrific conditions until 11 September when she was abruptly transferred to Dachau concentration camp with fellow agents Eliane Plewman, Yolande Beekman, and Noor Inayat Khan.[2]


At dawn on 13 September 1944, the day after their arrival in Dachau, the four young women were taken to a small courtyard next to the crematorium and forced to kneel on the ground. They were each executed with a shot through the back of the head and their bodies cremated.[1]

Honours and awards[edit]

Following the war, Damerment's contribution to freedom was recognized by her government with the posthumous awarding of the Legion of Honor, Croix de Guerre, the Médaille de la Résistance, and by the British King's Commendation for Brave Conduct. She is recorded on the Brookwood Memorial in Surrey, England and as one of the SOE agents who died for the liberation of France.[citation needed]

She is listed on the "Roll of Honor" on the Valençay SOE Memorial in the town of Valençay, in the Indre Département of France.[3] There is also a plaque on the south wall of the crematorium at the former Dachau concentration camp, where the four SOE agents are remembered.[2]

War Medal 39-45 BAR MID.png

1939–1945 Star France and Germany Star War Medal with King's Commendation for Brave Conduct
Légion d'honneur
Croix de Guerre (France) Médaille de la Résistance


  1. ^ a b Archived 17 February 2008 at the Wayback Machine.
  2. ^ a b Four young women who died for their country,; accessed 29 December 2016.
  3. ^ "Special Forces - Roll Of Honour". Retrieved 27 December 2016. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Madeleine Damerment at Wikimedia Commons