Hunt launched for WWII heroines

THE hunt is on for two heroines from Suffolk who were decorated for bravery during the Second World War.Bessie Hepburn and Dorothy Clarke both won the George Medal in Aldeburgh on July 8, 1940, and have been invited to attend the unveiling of a statue in memory to the women that played a role in the war.

THE hunt is on for two heroines from Suffolk who were decorated for bravery during the Second World War.

Bessie Hepburn and Dorothy Clarke both won the George Medal in Aldeburgh on July 8, 1940, and have been invited to attend the unveiling of a statue in memory to the women that played a role in the war.

The appeal to find the pair, and others that hold the George Medal and former Special Operations Executive agents, who were parachuted into occupied France, was launched yesterday by former Speaker of the House of Commons Betty Boothroyd.

The £1 million monument will stand outside the Cabinet Office in Whitehall near the Cenotaph and will be unveiled by the Queen on July 9.


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Lady Boothroyd said: "The sacrifice and endurance of our wartime heroines in uniform and on the home front must never be forgotten.

"Our mothers and grandmothers were a remarkable generation of women. This year we shall pay tribute to them at long last."

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The monument, 22ft high, 16ft long and 6ft wide, by sculptor John Mills, depicts the uniforms and working clothes women wore, hanging side by side.

Lady Boothroyd added: "For me it evokes a picture of the women who wore them taking them off for the last time and leaving them when the job was done. There is nothing triumphant about it. Its understatement makes it all the more moving.

"One veteran's son wrote to say that although his mother had driven a makeshift ambulance in the blitz and served in the fire service during the rocket attacks, she had received no thanks. On July 9 at 3pm we shall put that right - for her and the millions of women like her."

Anyone who may have information about the women or their whereabouts should call 020 7430 0443.

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