A WINCHESTER woman who received France’s highest honour for her service during the Second World War has died, aged 98.

Anne Veronica Ponsonby, of Dower House Nursing Home in Headbourne Worthy, received the Legion d’Honneur in 2019.

During the war, she trained as a wireless operator and supported the Special Operations Executive (SOE) by using Morse code to receive and send messages to the French Resistance. The SOE worked with the French resistance against the Nazi occupiers.

Speaking to the Chronicle at the time, she said: “I am thrilled and honoured. It is a beautiful insignia and I will wear it with pride. The war was a testing time for both France and the United Kingdom and together we achieved the liberation of France and set Europe on the road to peace, which we have now enjoyed for over 70 years.”

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“I am so proud to have played my part in helping the French nation recover its liberty.”

Following the war, she married Myles Ponsonby, who acted as the British ambassador to Mongolia for three years from 1974 to 1977. He died in February 1999.

Mrs Ponsonby died on Tuesday, October 3. She is survived by her children Belinda and Emma, as well as her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

A requiem mass in her memory is being held at St Peter’s Church, Winchester, on Monday, October 30. In lieu of flowers, the family is asking that donations be made to justgiving.com/firstaidnursingyeomanry with the reference "Anne Ponsonby".