18 July 2008

RIP: Roger Landes MC*

Roger Landes MC*
16 Dec 1916 - 16 Jul 2008

ZUI this article from The Times:
There was little of the archetypal hero in Roger Landes’s appearance. Of medium height with the air of a shrewd but possibly accommodating bank manager, he spoke English with a decidedly French accent. It was his fluency in French that first drew him to the attention of the Special Operations Executive (SOE). He was to fulfil the expectations of the SOE authorities not just as a radio operator, for which he was recruited, but as the leader of an SOE circuit in German- occupied France.


Landes was awarded the Military Cross for his first period of SOE service in France and a Bar for his second. He was also appointed to the Legion of Honour and awarded the Croix de Guerre with palm. He was advanced to Officer of the Legion of Honour in 1992 in recognition of his wartime services to France.

Roger Landes was the second of three sons of Barnet Landes, whose grandfather had emigrated from Russian Poland in 1848 to avoid conscription into the Tsarist army. His father spoke English only hesitatingly and preferred to live with his Russian wife in Paris. Roger was educated in Paris and graduated from L’École des Beaux Arts in the year after his parents’ departure for England.

He married Ginette Corbin, daughter of the French Scientist agent Charles Corbin to whom André Grandclément had revealed his intention to betray the arms caches to the Gestapo. She died in 1983 (obituary March 12); Landes married Margaret Laing in 1990. He is survived by her and a son of his first marriage.

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