- 30 August 1912
Wellington, New Zealand
- 7 August 2011
- Alternative Names
- Forward, Nancy (married name)
Nancy Wake, whom the Gestapo code-named "the White Mouse" was the Allies' most decorated servicewoman of World War II. The youngest of six children, Nancy Wake came to Australia with her parents when she was 20 months old. In the early 1930s she went first to England and then Paris as a freelance journalist and there met and married Henri Fiocca, a wealthy French industrialist. When the French government surrendered, after the German Army invaded in May 1940, Nancy Wake joined the French Resistance working as a courier and saboteur. For these 'special operations in France' Wake was awarded the George Medal (17 July 1945). Wake worked for the Intelligence Department at the British Air Ministry, after the war. She married John Forward, in 1957, before returning to Australia to live. In December 2001, Nancy Wake left Port Macquarie, New South Wales to live in Europe.
On 22 February 2004 Nancy Wake was appointed a Companion of the Order of Australia. The award recognises the significant contribution and commitment of Nancy Wake, stemming from her outstanding actions in wartime, in encouraging community appreciation and understanding of the past sacrifices made by Australian men and women in times of conflict, and to a lasting legacy of peace.
Nancy Wake moved to London to live in 2001. She died there, in Kingston Hospital on 7 August 2011.