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Secret Agent, Unsung Hero (Hardback)

The Valour of Bruce Dowding

Military WWII > Espionage & the SOE

By Peter Dowding, Ken Spillman
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Pages: 288
ISBN: 9781399055437
Published: 3rd October 2023


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Young Australian teacher Bruce Dowding arrived in Paris in 1938, planning only to improve his understanding of French language and culture. Secret Agent, Unsung Hero draws on decades of research to reveal, for the first time, his coming of age as a leader in escape and evasion during World War II. Dowding helped exfiltrate hundreds of Allied servicemen from occupied France and paid the ultimate price. He was beheaded by the Nazis just after his 29th birthday in 1943.

"Pen and Sword" once again put out a quality Second World War Two popular history that is very readable.


It is a story that I had not heard before and it was moving and compelling. One of the authors is the nephew of Dowding and so has a very personal story to tell.

So many risked all to save those they could. Their bravery deserves to be told.

NetGalley, Susan Johnston

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

An inspiring read! The work this individual performed in WW2 is extraordinary. His dedication to helping others escape occupied France was truly a great story. The hardships he faced were heartbreaking. A great read!

NetGalley, Ron Baumer

Article: Betrayed, executed, forgotten: family fights to honour Australian war hero

The Observer

About Peter Dowding

PETER DOWDING is the nephew of Bruce Dowding. He is a prominent Australian lawyer and a former Western Australian Premier.

About Ken Spillman

KEN SPILLMAN holds a PhD in history and is a prolific Australian author. His work spans many genres.

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