The life of the woman who became the White Mouse will be remembered in Wellington today at a special service on what would have been her 100th birthday.
Wellington-born World War II heroine Nancy Wake will be honoured at a remembrance service at Old St Paul's Church in Thorndon.
Organiser Trevor Morley said it was a chance to honour the French Resistance fighter - who died last year - for her bravery and heroism.
Ms Wake, who was born in Roseneath, left New Zealand with her family for Australia when she was 2.
As an adult, she was living in France when the war began. She became a prominent figure in the French Resistance and was nicknamed the White Mouse by the Gestapo for her ability to evade capture.
Her work earned her France's highest military honour, the Legion d'honneur, as well as three Croix de Guerre medals and a French Resistance medal.
She also received Britain's George Medal and the US Medal of Freedom, and was made a Companion of the Order of Australia in 2004.
In 2006, she was the first woman to receive the New Zealand Returned and Services Association's highest honour, the RSA Badge in Gold. She died last year, weeks before she would have turned 99.
Mr Morley said the service would celebrate Ms Wake's achievements, which he believed the New Zealand Government should have honoured.
"I believe she's been given a great injustice and this memorial service will go some way to remedying that."
The service, with which the French embassy and RSA are also involved, will honour her Maori heritage and include a eulogy and messages from the four countries that had honoured her.
Uniformed soldiers from the Wellington Regiment will serve as ushers.
The service starts at 12.15pm. People are requested to wear medals and poppies.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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