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Marie Dissard GM (1881 – 1957) was a member of the French Resistance during the German occupation of France in World War II who took over the escape network of Ian Garrow and Albert Guérisse and arranged for over 250 Allied airmen to return to Britain.
Marie Louise Dissard was born in Cahors. After the fall of the French Third Republic, Dissard joined the French Resistance using the code name "Françoise". Initially she worked with Ian Garrow arranging his escape route over the Pyrenees. When Ian Garrow and later Albert Guérisse were arrested, Dissard became the new leader of the escape network.
Dissard traveled all around France to arrange escape of Allied airmen back to the United Kingdom. She escorted several of them herself to Toulouse where she found them temporary accommodation and then escorted them to the Pyrenees where they were handed over to local guides.
One of the Pyrenees guides was arrested in January 1944 in Perpignan and he had Dissard's name in his notebook. Dissard went underground in Toulouse until Allied troops liberated France. She still helped 110 more men to escape in this period.
Honours and awards
After the war, the United Kingdom awarded her the George Medal, a very senior decoration, and the United States awarded her the Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award in the U.S. In Toulouse, the Lycée professionnel Marie Louise Dissard Françoise was named in her honor.
- Officer of the Legion of Honour
- Croix de Guerre 1939-1945 with palms
- Médaille de la Résistance with rosette (May 17, 1946)
- United Kingdom
- United States
- Medal of Freedom with Gold Palm
- "LYCEE POLYVALENT MARIE LOUISE DISSARD FRANCOISE - Historique de Françoise". Dissard-francoise.entmip.fr. 2016-09-13. Retrieved 2016-12-07.