about this event
Cranleigh Arts Centre is pleased to partner and host the Secret WW2 Learning Network, a registered educational charity promoting knowledge and understanding of clandestine warfare in the Second World War.
The Network is presently researching the role of selecting and training secret agents played by ‘Winterfold’ the Special Training School (STS) that was operated by the Special Operations Executive (SOE) on the outskirts of Cranleigh. SOE was the wartime secret service instructed by Prime Minister Winston Churchill to “Set Europe Ablaze” and the stately home of ‘Winterfold’ saw hundreds of trainee agents, mostly French, Dutch, Belgian and British pass through its doors. Many served heroically in occupied Europe. Many did not return.
A morning presentation and update on the Network’s findings, including links to the locality and a newly-discovered part played by Cranleigh’s former Regal Cinema, which includes details of two agents who ‘graduated’ from ‘Winterfold’. A light lunch will be provided within the price and the afternoon session will consist of a showing of the classic 1958 Lewis Gilbert film 'Carve Her Name With Pride' which tells the story of SOE’s tragic heroine Violette Szabó who was posthumously awarded the George Cross
Only in recent years has it come to light that Violette’s selection and initial training was at ‘Winterfold’.
10.30 - Doors open and registration
11.00 - Welcome by Peter Hunt and Paul McCue
11.10 - Introductory presentation on the SWW2LN, the Special Operations Executive (SOE), the establishment at Winterfold and its use by SOE's Belgian, Dutch and French Sections. Paul McCue
12.00 - Case study 1 of a Winterfold-trained female agent byCarol Browne
12.30 - Case study 2 of a Winterfold-trained male agent by Paul McCue
13.00 - Sandwich lunch, tea and coffee provided
14.00 - Introduction of film and SOE agent Violette Szabó by Paul McCue
14.15 - Carve Her Name With Pride PT1
15.15 - Intermission
15.45 - Carve Her Name With Pride PT2
16.45 - Closing remarks.
All profits go to support the work of SWWLN (Charity No. 1156796) and Cranleigh Arts Centre (Charity no. 284186)