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Extraordinary War Stories

Rosemary Bailey, Ruth Ive

01/03/2010 12:00 pm
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Rosemary Bailey’s book, Love and War in the French Pyrenees, offers an emotional history underlying the bitter facts of wartime in the Pyrenees and the unspoken secrets of the french Resistance.

The only way Winston Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt could communicate was via a top secret transatlantic telephone link. All other Atlantic telephone cables had been disconnected to prevent the Germans intercepting information. Ruth Ive, then a young stenographer working in the Ministry of Information, she spent the war listening in to the conversations, ready to cut the line if anything was said that might compromise security. Ruth was sworn to secrecy about her work, and at the end of the war all documentation proving the existence of the telephone line was destroyed. It was not until 1995, when Churchill’s private files were finally declassified, that Ruth was able to describe the details of her incredible story in The Woman Who Censored Churchill.

Rosemary Bailey

Rosemary Bailey studied English and Philosophy at Bristol University and worked as a journalist and travel writer, livng for several years in New York before basing herself in France. In 1997 Rosemary and her husband, Barry Miles, bought Corbiac, a ruined Romanesque monastery whch they restored - an experience recounted in Life in a Postcard. This same monastery features in Love and War in the Pyrenees as a place of refuge and escape during the Second World war.

Ruth Ive

Ruth Ive was censor for the transatlantic telephone link during the Second World War. After the war she worked as a journalist, married and had two sons. She lives in London.

Sophie Lewis

Sophie Lewis is a freelance writer and translator from French. She writes for the TLS, PN Review, theJewish Chronicle, the Liberal magazine, the Spectator and other publications. She also manages European operations for the American independent publisher Dalkey Archive Press.