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Wartime heroine spy from Darwen dies aged 91
A NORWEGIAN Second World War heroine who lived in East Lancashire has died, aged 91.
Sigrid Green, of Darwen, who spied on the German production of ‘heavy water’ in the 1940s, died at Highfield House residential home, in Sudell Road, on Friday.
Miss Green, known as Gusta to her friends because her middle name was Augusta, had spent a month at the home after her health deteriorated. She had previously been living at Ely Close, in the town, and used to live in Richmond Terrace.
During the war, Miss Green joined the Women’s Auxilliary Air Force in 1942. She was sec-onded to the Norwegian resistance after Army chiefs discovered her bi-lingual background.
She was taken to German-occupied Norway in a submarine, having refused to be dropped by parachute. At the time, women were not allowed on submarines, so she had to pretend to be a boy.
Before the war, Miss Green’s uncle had run the heavy water factory in Norway, being developed for energy purposes before the Germans invaded.
She had been to the factory and knew where it was, and her information helped in the build-up to the famous attack by the heroes of Telemark, immortalised in the film of the same name.
After her mission was over, she walked from Norway to neutral Sweden, and escaped in the empty bomb bay of a Mosquito aircraft.
She went on to help at Bletchley Park when German codes were famously broken with the help of Enigma machines.
In May, she returned to Bletchley with the help of Darwen policewoman Rachel Higson.
There she was amazed to meet pilot Mike Randles, who had flown Mosquitos over Norway at the same time she escaped in one of the aircraft.
Miss Green was engaged to a fighter pilot, but he died during the war. She remained single.
She was born in Darwen, where her mother was working as an au pair for her grandparents, and married her father.
After the war she held a number of jobs, working at Blackburn Royal Infirmary for a number of years.
Dr David Grimes, who knew Miss Green for more than 20 years, said: “She was an extremely difficult person. She had arguments and rows with everyone.
“But I had a real soft spot for her. She could be very charming.
“She was a true character. Anyone who met her would never forget her.
“She had been through a variety of illnesses, but seemed indestructable as she had conquered them all.
“In the end, she died of old age. Nobody lives forever.”
Miss Green’s funeral will be dealt with by Scales of Blackburn, but the arrangements are still to be made.