Museum News

The Not So Secret Flotillas

Presenation in the Museum: On Monday, 21st June, Sir Brooks Richards presented Mr L. Michell, Chairman of the Isles of Scilly Museum Association, with a copy of his book Secret Flotillas.
Museum Picture
Left to right: Mary Cleveland (School girl on Tresco), Hervé Lomenech, Jean Francois Lomenech, Sir Brookes Richards,
Len Michell (Chairman, I.O.S Museum Assocation). Photo by Frank Gibson
Included in this book is a review of the history of the clandestine lines to France, which operated from Scilly between 1940 and 1944. Sir Brooks was the head of the Intelligence Section which controlled this activity.

Four converted French trawlers operated out of Tresco Channel, landing spies and collecting French escapees and information from Occupied France. There were more than twenty operations carried out and these included the rescuing of Remy, Head of the French Resistance, and his family, from the Gestapo; the bringing to England of stolen plans of the German coastal defences in Normandy and a large number of shot-down Allied airmen.

The leading Frenchman in this affair was Daniel Lomenech, he was well-known in Scilly and was a favourite of the local Land Girls.

Also present were Danielís two sons, Herve and Jean Francois, who had sailed over from Brittany for the occasion.

Councillor Mary Cleveland, who as a girl lived on Tresco, remembered the comings and goings. The Lomenech Brothers also took the opportunity to visit Tom Chudleigh, who was in hospital. His family played host to Daniel Lomenech and Remy and his family.

It is proposed to present a display panel, showing the range of activities carried out by the Secret Flotillas, to the Isles of Scilly Museum at a later date, and it is hoped eventually that it will be possible to erect a brass plaque to the memory of these brave men, on the island of Tresco.


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