First News

REMEMBERIN­G THEM ALL

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In the beginning, I didn’t know I was going to write an animal story. It wasn’t until I found out about Marie-Madeleine Fourcade that the penny dropped. She was the leader of one of the most significan­t and influentia­l French Resistance groups in France, which was nicknamed Noah’s Ark by the Gestapo [Germany’s secret police] because Fourcade gave her network of spies animal codenames. Hers was Hedgehog, and on reading her memoir, I encountere­d betrayal, daring escapes and heroic sacrifice on almost every page. I knew I had to bring these courageous men and women and their animal codenames to life in an anthropomo­rphic children’s book so that they, and the Dickin Medal-winning animals, could be better known. VE Day gives us a chance to remember everyone who helped stop the spread of evil through Europe. I will also take a moment to think of the war animals, the unsung heroes, who we owe a debt of gratitude to.

 ??  ?? A cavalry training regiment of the British Army in Maidstone, Kent, during World War Two
A cavalry training regiment of the British Army in Maidstone, Kent, during World War Two

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