The “Pat Line” too suffered many imprisonments, despicable tortures and horrific deaths among its Most Valiant and Heroic Members. But without doubt it was to be Heralded alongside the “Comet Line” as saviours to over 600 Allied soldiers and airmen that they returned to England via their own escape network. These Fearless, Courageous and Heroic Band of Men and Women were Dedicated to the Freedom of the Allies that they Saved, and to the Freedom from Nazi oppression in the Country…They Both Lived in and Loved…!!!
It is imperative for me to mention the passing of such a Great Man as “Pat O’Leary.
After the despicable betrayal by Roger Le Neveu, “Pat O’Leary” was arrested at a Toulouse café in March, 1943. The torture inflicted on O’Leary was barbaric and sadistic, he was entombed in a refrigerator for many hours then removed and beaten continuously to make him talk…He remained faithful to the Pat Line revealing nothing to his torturers. He was transferred under the Nazi “Nacht und Nebel” policy, depriving him of any and all contact to Natzweiler and eventually Dachau concentration camps, there being brutally tortured many times over, and sentenced to death. The brutality of his constant beatings by the evil S.S never broke his fighting spirit.
In 1942 he received the D.S.O. In 1946 he was awarded the George Cross for his outstanding Gallantry and Heroism…He was attributed as being the most decorated man alive, holding over thirty five decorations and awards from many different countries.
In 1980 he was made an Honorary K.B.E. and before O’Leary died, King Baudouin of Belgium distinguished him as a count. In 1947 he married Sylvia Cooper-Smith.
He is survived by a son.
We Alive Today Pay a Tribute to This Man of Unquestionable Heroism and Courage…and to Those of “The Pat Line” who Served Loyally and Faithfully with “Pat O’ Leary” In the Cause of Freedom Against the Tyranny That Many Sacrificed Their Lives For…and to the Man Himself…Major-General Albert-Marie Edmond Guerisse…who sadly died at Waterloo in Belgium, on March 26th, 1989…He was aged 77.
The Ultimate Sacrifice…!!!
This Tribute is Dedicated to All the Heroic Members of “The Pat Line” and “The Comet Line” and To the Thousands of Belgian and French Civilians and Their Families Who Sheltered the Evaders in Their Homes…
One hundred and thirty three Comet Line Members perished in concentration camps due to starvation and brutality, all were victims of Hitler’s programme of extermination. Those who were fortunate to be liberated from the camps returned home, some soon dying due to the ill treatment and brutality they received…The price was very high.
We Today Would Like to Express our Gratitude and Respect in Their Memory…Who Heroically Gave The Ultimate Sacrifice. To Them All We Attribute the Glory and the Honour…!!!
For those I should mention but have no record of, forgive me…
Arnold de Pe, Elvire de Greef, Fernand de Greef, Janine de Greef, Albert Edward ”B” Johnson, Madame de Jongh, Tante Nini, Charlie Morelle, Madame Marechal, Jean Ingels, Tante Go, Elvire Morelle, Madame Cataline Aguirre, Henri Micheli, Baron Jean Greindl (alias Nemo), Commandant Bidoul, Peggy Van Lier, Georges d’Oultremont, Edouard d’Oultremont, Robert Ayle, Amiable Fouquerel, Madame Laurentie, Elsie Marechal, Nelly de Koning, Albert Marchal, Victor Michiels, Jean Dassie, Eric de Menten, Jean Naus, Bernadette Greindl (wife of Nemo), Albert Greindl (brother of Nemo), Madeline Bouteloupt, Monsieur and Madame Lapeyre, Germaine Ayle, Baron Jean-Charles Snoy (brother-in-law of Nemo), Count Antoine D’ Ursel (alias Jacques Cartier), Jean Serment, Count Jaques Legrelle, Monsieur Deltour, Martine Noel (the dentist), Jerome and Raymond Etterbeek…And to Those who Remained Faithful to the Comet Line…Today…!!!
Sincere Thanks to Those who Provided the Photographs Contained in This Tribute… Madame Michelin Dumont-Ugeux, Ian R. Bridle.
Story complied and written by Ian R. Bridle…Friday March 30th 2007.