From the end of the New Grimsby Quay, Tresco,
take the coastal path which will take you to the north-west of Tresco towards
Cromwell's & Charles Castles. The Tresco Channel and New Grimsby Sound is to your left which is
a fairly sheltered anchorage. It was during WW2 that this anchorage was
used for secret Naval flotillas used by the Special Operations Executive (SOE).
In 1942 these men sailed from Tresco in adapted French fishing boats to
Nazi-occupied Brittany. They retrieved agents, dropped off supplies and
extracted the chief of French Intelligence and his family - together with
top-secret German plans of all coastal defences between Cherbourg and Honfleur.
As a direct result of their achievement a great many lives were saved in the
later D-Day invasion of France.
Just prior to the Braiden rock look out for a set of steps descending to the waters edge. It was here in July 2000 that the Holdsworth Special Forces Trust placed a small plaque to commemorate the activities of a very brave group of men.
In particular Daniel Lonmenech, a Frenchman with an extensive knowledge of the Breton fishing industry. Who after escaping from occupied France was assigned to a Royal Navy submarine, acting for the Special Forces, with the rank of Sub-Lieutenant RNVR. It was his idea to replace the submarine with a diesel-engined trawler, operating from Tresco, which could blend in with the French fishing fleet. This allowed for a much more effective operation.
Greater detail can be found at the Isles of Scilly Museum and in a book called The Last Piece of England by Richard Barber, available from island book shops.
Special Operations Executive Jetty - SV 88446, 15576
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