“One of the best days was when we arrested 25 German soldiers towards the end of the war,” she told the Daily Express in an interview in 2016. “It felt good as we knew we would soon have our country back from occupation.”
“I was not the only woman who joined the Resistance,“ she added. “I am proud of what we all did as a team. But the proudest moment was probably going to Paris with General Charles de Gaulle. It was a wonderful feeling entering the city but my excitement was limited because it felt very dangerous.”
One of Simone’s first missions was to steal a bicycle from a German soldier which, after a respray, she rode, as her reconnaissance transport. Her MP-40 sub-machine gun was also taken from a German.
When the war was over, she was awarded the prestigious Croix de Guerre and she was promoted to lieutenant. Women made up just 10% of the Resistance, but their presence helped force a shift in the way their gender was treated.
Simone went on to become a paediatric nurse in Chartres, where her wartime exploits made her hugely popular. A street in Courville-sur-Eure was named for her.