NATIONAL DIARY
Plaque honours real-life Miss Moneypenny

A PLAQUE has been erected in honour of a Jewish war heroine who is believed to have been the inspiration for the Miss Moneypenny character in Ian Fleming’s James Bond books.

The plaque to Vera May Atkins Rosenberg was unveiled at the block of flats in west London where she lived during the Second World War.

She was born in June, 1908, to a distinguished Jewish family in Romania who were forced to flee to the UK due to the intense antisemitism there.

Vera was the daughter of Max and Zefra Hilda, nee Etkins, and later took the similar surname of her mother, changed to Atkins.

Well educated, with secretarial skills and multi-lingual, Vera became a spy for British Intelligence in the mid-1930s on the continent and was a key organiser of the Special Operations Executive French — or ‘F ‘Section — in the early war years.

She had been recruited before the war by Canadian spymaster Sir William Stephenson, of British Security Co-ordination. He sent her on fact-finding missions across Europe to supply Winston Churchill with intelligence on the rising threat of Nazi Germany.

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