Page 1 of 2

Special Operations?

PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2018 7:57 pm
by DianaCanada
I have just found a relative on the National Archives site, Edith Lois Barefield, who has a file under the Special Operations Executive. Does this possibly mean she worked in intelligence during WWII? Her file is closed until she is past 100 years old, in January 2024.

Re: Special Operations?

PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2018 12:55 am
by MaureenE
Her record at the National Archives is under the catalogue category "HS 9 - Special Operations Executive: Personnel Files (PF Series)", so she certainly was employed by Special Operations Executive in some capacity. However, possibly those who performed clerical type duties are also included. You probably won't be able to tell what sort of work she did until her file is opened. If she has died possibly you may be able to request her file be opened early, but I do not have details on this.
http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.u ... /C14506668

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special_O ... _Executive
Special Operations Executive Wikipedia
Its purpose was to conduct espionage, sabotage and reconnaissance in occupied Europe (and later, also in occupied Southeast Asia) against the Axis powers, and to aid local resistance movements.
The organisation directly employed or controlled just over 13,000 people, about 3,200 of whom were women.
There is a history available:
Foot, M. R. D. (1999). The Special Operations Executive 1940–1946. Pimlico. ISBN 0-7126-6585-4.

Cheers
Maureen

Re: Special Operations?

PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2018 10:33 am
by junkers
Some people whose files there are were rejected by SOE as unsuitable. If you can prove the person is dead (death certificate, an obituary or similar) then you can ask The National Archives to release it (or most of it) under the Freedom of Information policy, see their website.

Re: Special Operations?

PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2018 10:45 am
by junkers
She was still alive in 2002 according to electoral rolls which would make the file non-releasable under data protection if she is still alive.

Re: Special Operations?

PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2018 2:49 pm
by DianaCanada
Thank you everyone for your replies. I wasn't able to find any trace of Edith after her birth (think she is redacted on the 1939 but of course no absolute proof) and could not find a marriage listing for her, or a death to 2015. So thank you for spotting her on the electoral rolls, Junkers.
My mother (deceased) would have got a kick out of this one, Edith was born the same year, my mother volunteered for the Royal Observer Corps and would have been thrilled to know a cousin was working for the Special Operations, even if just as a clerk.

Re: Special Operations?

PostPosted: Thu Jul 04, 2019 12:33 pm
by Hlmcgeary
Hi there, I know Lois well, she recently turned 96, and lives in Worcestershire. She was indeed SOE in Baker Street London, and she has some great tales. I be glad to find out anything you want to know

Re: Special Operations?

PostPosted: Thu Jul 04, 2019 12:35 pm
by Hlmcgeary
I tried to post a photo but it says it was too big!

Re: Special Operations?

PostPosted: Thu Jul 04, 2019 3:16 pm
by woodchal
Diane

What a wonderful connection to have made - I am always impressed by how powerful this forum can be - I hope you get to hear some stories from Lois direct.

Re: Special Operations?

PostPosted: Sat Jul 06, 2019 6:45 pm
by DianaCanada
Hlmcgeary wrote:Hi there, I know Lois well, she recently turned 96, and lives in Worcestershire. She was indeed SOE in Baker Street London, and she has some great tales. I be glad to find out anything you want to know


Just came to the forum and found this! I am thrilled to hear Lois is still alive. Perhaps you could PM me and we could talk about Lois - would love to hear more about what she did and her memories of family, etc. Perhaps the photo could be sent to me via email? I can supply my email address.
Thanks for getting in touch!

Re: Special Operations?

PostPosted: Sat Jul 06, 2019 6:47 pm
by DianaCanada
woodchal wrote:Diane

What a wonderful connection to have made - I am always impressed by how powerful this forum can be - I hope you get to hear some stories from Lois direct.


Yes, I can hardly believe it!