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Memorial seat of Vera Atkins at the Allied Special Forces Memorial Grove, National Memorial Arboretum, Staffordhire, UK. The seat is a tribute to her courage and those of her women agents who lost their lives. The fir tree in the middle of the seat was grown from a seed in Natzweiler concentration camp, France.

    Vera Atkins (b. Galati, Romania, 1908 – d. 2000, Sussex, UK), was a Romanian-born British intelligence officer who worked in the France section of the Special Operation Executive (SOE) from 1941 to 1945 during World War II. Born as Vera Maria (May) Rosenberg in a wealthy family of Jewish origins, she studied and was trained in Paris (Sorbonne), Lausanne and London. In 1937 she emigrated to the UK and applied for British nationality. She was trained by the Canadian spymaster Sir William Stephenson of British Security Coordination, who also sent her on fact-finding missions across Europe. She recruited 37 women SOE agents who worked in WWII undercover. After the end of the conflict, she went to work for UNESCO’s Central Bureau for Educational Visits and Exchanges, as office manager (from 1948) and director (from 1952). Vera Atkins retired in 1961 and died in 2000.

    Address : Croxall Rd, Burton-on-Trent DE13 7AR, UK

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