From our Picture Source we learn that Madeleine Léonie Zoé Damerment was born on 11 November 1917 at Tortefontaine, Pas-de-Calais, France, the second of the three daughters of Charles Eugène Cyrille Damerment and Madeleine Damerment née Godin. Her father was a senior civil servant in the French postal and telegraph service and by 1923 this had taken the family to Monasti, Tunisia, where she started primary school. In 1924 her mother returned to Roubaix, France, where her maternal aunt, Virginie Godin lived, to give birth to her younger sister, Charline Damerment. Her elder sister was Jeannine Damerment.
By the beginning of World War Two, the family were living in Marquette-lez-Lille, a small town about 4 miles north of the centre of Lille to where her father had been transferred to the position of Postmaster, with a substantial family house next door to the post office at 8 Rue de l’Eglise (now renamed Rue des Martyrs de la Résistance). After leaving school at the age of 16, she remained at home until, with her father’s help, she obtained a post of telephonist in the postal service in Lille in 1938, progressing to Assistant Postmistress in 1939 in the city’s main post office.
Her Wikipedia page explains how she began working with the French Resistance before escaping to England in 1942 where she joined the Women's Transport Service (First Aid Nursing Yeomanry), service number F/37, rising to the rank of Ensign. She was seconded to the Special Operations Executive (SOE) and after training to be a courier she was parachuted into France on the night of 28/29 February 1944. She had been betrayed and was immediately captured. She was eventually taken to the Dachau Concentration Camp, Germany, where together with three other agents, Section Officer Yolande Elsa Maria Beekman, Section Officer Noor Inayat-Khan and Ensign Eliane Sophie Plewman, she was executed, aged 26 years, on 13 September 1944. Their bodies were all cremated.
In the United Kingdom she was posthumously awarded the 1939-1945 Star, The France and Germany Star, The War Medal 1939-1945 together with The King's Commendation for Brave Conduct and by France the Légion d'Honneur, the Croix de Guerre 1939-1945 and Médaille de la Résistance.
As she has no grave she is commemorated on Panel 26, Column 3 of the Brookwood 1939-1945 Memorial at Brookwood Military Cemetery, Brookwood, Woking, Surrey, on a plaque to all four agents at the crematorium at Dachau Concentration Camp, on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission's website, on the Valençay SOE Memorial Roll of Honour, France, on the Memorial to the Women of SOE at Mill Lane, Tempsford, Lincolnshire and a plaque at Nightingale House, 108 Nightingale Lane, London, SW12.
Credit for this entry to: Andrew Behan.