The Nearne family in the archives
The National Archives has published a newly-released Special Operations Executive file on Francis Nearne online (Catalogue reference HS 9/1089/3).
The Nearne family first came to prominence after the death of Eileen Nearne in 2010, when her heroic wartime activities as a radio operator in occupied France in the Second World War were finally revealed.
However, reports suggest Francis failed to live up to the standard set by his highly-regarded sisters, with officials noting they were ‘most disappointed in his appearance and level of intelligence’.
A report in the file describes him as being emotionally and physically unfit for a career in the SOE and lacking in self confidence. It is also noted that Francis felt overshadowed and inferior when compared to his more successful sisters.
The uncertainty over his suitability for an SOE post was resolved when Nearne eventually enlisted with the army.
Francis Nearne’s file is available to view on DocumentsOnline free for a month. Download the file now