Agent Blanche, the British teenage girl who spied on the Nazis in France
Sonia Butt was only 19 when she went to France to become
a spy, helping to blow up bridges and ambush
Nazis, book reveals.
  By Telegraph Staff
11:31PM GMT 20 Mar 2014
Sonia d'Artois in 2011 Photo: NadyaMurdoch/BNPS

It is a story of espionage and derring-do that would barely be credible as a work of fiction.

In fact, the exploits that have come to light of a British teenager who went to Nazi-occupied France to become a spy are solid facts, and the protagonist is still alive to vouch for them.
Sonia Butt — known as Agent Blanche — was just 19 when she parachuted into northern France to act as a go-between for Allied troops and the French Resistance before D-Day. Sonia was born in Eastchurch, Kent, in May 1924 but spent her childhood in France where she became fluent in the language.
During her time with the Special Operations Executive she met and married fellow spy Guy D’Artois.
Sonia would woo German soldiers for information while secretly recruiting and training Resistance cells.
Despite her youth, Sonia was a specialist in explosives. She often joined in the sabotage herself, blowing up bridges and ambushing German convoys. At one stage she was arrested by the Germans and risked being executed by the Gestapo. But she talked her way out of the scrape with a meticulous cover story.
Meanwhile, her husband was several hundred miles away, leading a 600-strong army of French Resistance fighters. The combat unit destroyed strategic bridges and railway lines and attacked enemy positions.
After Paris was liberated in August 1944, she was reunited with her husband. She was later apprehended by French soldiers who had seen her cavorting with Germans. They threatened to shave her head. Luckily some partisans intervened and explained that she was a spy.
After the war, the couple went to Mr D’Artois’s native Canada, setting up home near Montreal where they raised six children. In October 1944, she was awarded an MBE. She was still only 20. Now aged 89, Sonia is a widow, living in Canada. Her full story has only emerged in a new book, The Women Who Spied for Britain, by Robyn Walker.
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