RAF007A Yolande Beekman
1 in stock
The SOE WAS created in July 1940 under the Ministry of Economic Warfare and was a secret WW2 British organization. Its purpose was to conduct espionage, sabotage and reconnaissance in occupied Europe and later, also in occupied Southeast Asia. Members of SOE were sometimes referred to as the “Baker Street Irregulars”, after the location of its London headquarters. The organization was dissolved in January 1946. There were 1,300 brave men and women who served in the SOE, from many different nationalities, with 200 being women.
Their weapons were their bravery and guile, and rightly so there are a number of memorials. The official memorial to all those who served in the SOE in WW2 was unveiled in February 1996, on the wall of the west cloister of Westminster Abbey west Cloister, by Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother. Based on the Albert Embankment in London, unveiled in 2009, the Valençay SOE Memorial honours the 104 SOE agents who lost their lives while working in France. The Tempsford Memorial was unveiled on 3 December 2013 by the then Charles, Prince of Wales, now King Charlies III, in Church End, Tempsford, Bedfordshire, close to the site of RAF Tempsford. Where many of the SOE left for their missions in occupied Europe.
This month we are releasing the first of a new sub-range of SOE Figures.
RAF007A Yolande Beekman
Yolande Elsa Maria Beekman [Born Jan 7th 1911 – Died Sept 13th 1944] was a British secret agent in WW II, who served in the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force and the SOE. She had a Swiss father and English mother in Paris. As a child, she grew up in London and Paris and was fluent in English, German, and French.
After enlisting in the RAF Signals Wing, she transferred and trained to be an SOE Agent and then flew into occupied France on the night of Sept 17/18 1943, in a Lysander. Whilst in training she met and married a Dutch Sergeant, Jaap Beekman, with whom she was on the W/O training course. After arriving in France, Beekman operated the wireless for Gustave Biéler, the Canadian in charge of the Musician circuit [the SOE named the clandestine networks ‘circuits’] at Saint-Quentin in Aisne departement, using the codenames “Mariette” and “Kilt” (wireless codename), and the alias “Yvonne.”
The Germans, using radio detection equipment, traced her radio signal and Beekman along with Bieler were arrested, Bieler was executed on September 5th 1944. While in prison Beekman was brutalised and tortured, Yolanda Beekman was executed at Dachau concentration camp, with fellow agents, Madeleine Damerment, Noor Inayat Khan, and Eliane Plewman. on September 13th 1944. They were executed by Wilhelm Ruppert, who after the war was tried, found guilty and hanged in May 1946.
Our figure depicts Beekman in WAAF uniform with a Tommy Gun as if she has just come from a familiarization lesson, limited to 100 in number and priced at $55 per figure.