Herefordshire woman protects her museum from British war heroin

A WOMAN who turned her home into a museum dedicated to a British WWII spy says she protected it from developers for 1,000 years.

Rosemary Rigby set up the unique museum at Wormelow, near Ross-on-Wye, after discovering that her cottage was once the holiday home of war heroine Violette Szabo.

Violette was a French-born British agent who undertook numerous undercover missions in France.

World War II heroine Violette Szabo and her husband Etienne. See the SWNS SWBRspy story. A woman who turned her home into a museum dedicated to a British WWII spy says she protected it from developers – for 1,000 years. Rosemary Rigby MBE, created the unique”/>

World War II heroine Violette Szabo and her husband Etienne. See the SWNS SWBRspy story. A woman who turned her home into a museum dedicated to a British WWII spy says she protected it from developers – for 1,000 years. Rosemary Rigby MBE, created the unique

She was captured by the Nazis and executed in a concentration camp aged just 23 – and posthumously awarded the George Cross.

Years later, Ms Rigby, then in her twenties, and her mother moved into the Herefordshire home in 1963.

She discovered that it had previously been occupied by Violette’s aunt, uncle and five cousins ​​- and the young spy used to go there as a child.

The Violette Szabo Museum opened in June 2000 and was the brainchild of Rosemary Rigby MBE.  Rosemary hopes to celebrate 100 years of Violets this year as she was unable to do so last year due to the covid pandemic.  Wormelow, Herefordshire.  See

The Violette Szabo Museum opened in June 2000 and was the brain child of Rosemary Rigby MBE. Rosemary hopes to celebrate Violette’s 100th birthday this year as she was unable to do so last year due to the covid pandemic. Wormelow, Herefordshire. See

Violette used to visit her family’s home in Wormelow, Herefordshire, during vacations and between war missions.

She even taught local children to play rounders in a field next to the property.

The Violette Szabo Museum opened in June 2000 and was the brainchild of Rosemary Rigby MBE.  Rosemary hopes to celebrate 100 years of Violets this year as she was unable to do so last year due to the covid pandemic.  Wormelow, Herefordshire.  See

The Violette Szabo Museum opened in June 2000 and was the brainchild of Rosemary Rigby MBE. Rosemary hopes to celebrate Violette’s 100th birthday this year as she was unable to do so last year due to the covid pandemic. Wormelow, Herefordshire. See

Since retiring from the Royal National Institute for the Blind in 1996, she has dedicated the rest of her life to sharing Violette’s extraordinary story with the world.

She turned the house into a museum – and also ensured that the land was now a “millennial” green, meaning no one could build on it for 1,000 years.

The Violette Szabo Museum opened in June 2000 and was the brainchild of Rosemary Rigby MBE.  Rosemary hopes to celebrate 100 years of Violets this year as she was unable to do so last year due to the covid pandemic.  Wormelow, Herefordshire.  See

The Violette Szabo Museum opened in June 2000 and was the brainchild of Rosemary Rigby MBE. Rosemary hopes to celebrate Violette’s 100th birthday this year as she was unable to do so last year due to the covid pandemic. Wormelow, Herefordshire. See

She said: “I think the spirit of the remarkable woman needs to be remembered.

“And why shouldn’t she? She gave her life for our country at 23.”

Violette successfully completed her first assignment in France as a Special Operations Executive Agent and returned to England – but it was her second assignment which turned out to be her last as she was captured shortly after D-Day while she was trying to coordinate the fighters of the French Resistance.

Ms Rigby said the cottage was filled with “all sorts of interesting things”, from the packet of tea Violette drank to the cigarettes she smoked and the perfume she wore.

Rosemary inside the museum.  The Violette Szabo Museum opened in June 2000 and was the brainchild of Rosemary Rigby MBE.  Rosemary hopes to celebrate 100 years of Violets this year as she was unable to do so last year due to the covid pandemic.

Rosemary inside the museum. The Violette Szabo Museum opened in June 2000 and was the brainchild of Rosemary Rigby MBE. Rosemary hopes to celebrate Violette’s 100th birthday this year as she was unable to do so last year due to the covid pandemic.

She also organized a 100-year anniversary in memory of Violette, which will take place at the Violette Szabo GC museum on July 10.

She hopes the Royal Airforce will organize a flypast for Violette and that there will be a parade from the village park to the museum, led by a piper.

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