A veteran from Worcester Park recalls her time during the Second World War to mark Remembrance Sunday.

Mildred Schutz, 96, is usually part of the March Past the Cenotaph, but due to lockdown restrictions, she was forced to miss out at home.

During WWII, Mildred was part of Special Operations Executive (SOE) a secret British organisation which conducted espionage, sabotage, and reconnaissance in occupied Europe.

From the SOE base in Baker Street London, Mildred made several trips out to Italy to recruit and train the partisans.

The Taxi Charity for Military Veterans says Mildred's role was "very dangerous" - as being undercover and without a uniform could have seen Mildred shot if her identity was discovered.

Mildred Schutz said: “On Remembrance Sunday I particularly remember my seven friends from SOE who were discovered working behind the lines and taken to Auschwitz and shot.

"The Women at War Memorial in Whitehall with the rows of coats and hats hanging up portrays their belongings, left behind in the huts in the concentration camp when they were taken out and killed.”

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The partisans that Mildred was recruiting and training in Italy included fascists, those who still supported the Italian King and escaped British and allied Prisoners of War.

Her role was to organise the different groups to work together, train, arm and finance their endeavours. She worked in Monopoly before moving to Sienna and was always aware that if she was found out she would have been shot as a traitor.

“War is a dreadful thing so it’s good that we don’t think about it too much, but we do all need to remember what has happened in the past," says Mildred.

"The Remembrance Sunday, March Past is full of camaraderie and happiness as the crowds cheer you on and I will certainly miss it this year.”

Ian Parsons, Chairman, The Taxi Charity for Military Veterans, said: “Mildred is an inspiration to us all.

"Every day she was in Italy, this young girl was putting her life at risk to train the partisans and help the war effort.

"On Remembrance Sunday I hope everyone took the time to pause at 11.00 am and remember the sacrifice all these brave men and women made for our country.”