Last week, the last of the living Special Operations Executive (SOE) female agents, Phyllis “Pippa” Latour turned 100 years old. 

Phyllis Latour accepted the dangerous position of a female operative as a means to get revenge over the shooting of her godfather and her godmother. The two had been arrested by the Nazis and committed suicide while in custody.

She parachuted into France, worked as a wireless operator, and was awarded the honor of being made a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE)

Latour was born in South Africa in 1921 to a French father and an English mother. She was bilingual at an early age, something that would aid in her career later in life. Her father died when she was just three months old. Her mother remarried a race car driver, something her mother took up as well. After her mother died in a race car crash, Latour went to live with her father’s relatives in French Equatorial Africa (Congo). Yet, her stepmother would also soon die.