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Aunt’s secret life outed during game of Trivial Pursuit

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By Abbey Morton
Front
Aunt’s secret life outed during game of Trivial Pursuit

A SCOTTISH WWII double agent who hid her secret life from family and friends for nearly 50 years will have had her story told by her great nephew author.

Miller Caldwell, of Dumfries, discovered his great aunt Fleur Campbell’s background over a game of Trivial Pursuit.
Posing as a ‘housewife running errands’ to avoid neighbours’ suspicion, she in fact held clandestine meetings with MI6 on a monthly basis.
The false information she fed to the Gestapo ‘helped the war effort immensely’ by confusing Hitler’s army and by contributing to intelligence that would later thwart a full-scale invasion.
The late Fleur, who had to sign the Official Secrets Act, kept her real ‘day job’ from loved ones.
But her true identity was unexpectedly revealed when close friend Vera Wild, who had kept mum for 56 years, was playing a board game with members of Fleur’s extended family.
Recalling their reactions, Miller said: “Learning that Fleur was really a spy was a huge shock, as you might imagine.
“I was stunned. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.”
“The fact that we were told during a board game made it even more surreal – we just couldn’t believe it until Vera explained the finer details, and everything started to make sense.
“To say that my family and I are proud of Fleur would be a gross understatement. She fought for King and country and never, ever, revealed her bravery, making her one of Britain’s true unsung heroes.”
Fleur grew up in Elgin but moved to Hamburg, Germany, in 1910 to marry her first husband, the German doctor Hans Richter.
She was first approached by the Nazis in 1938 after local spies discovered she was planning to return to Scotland following Richter’s death.
Her teenage son, Otto, a member of Hitler Youth, was banned from leaving Germany, and Fleur was warned that he would be killed if she refused to spy for them.
Her spymasters gave her a radio with which to relay messages back to the Gestapo in Morse code and written information was exchanged via ‘dead letter box’.
Using her German radio, and under the direction of MI6, Fleur went on to feed false information to the Gestapo.
Miller, 65, said: “She was forced to become a spy because she was worried about her son’s safety in Germany. She was fluent in German and obviously spoke English so she was an asset to them, but it was an offer that she couldn’t refuse.”
When the war ended, Fleur returned to Germany only to discover that Otto had been killed by a sniper in Poland.
The revelations emerged during a game of ‘Triv’ back in 1992 but the players initially chose to keep it a secret.
However, Miller says that now is the ‘right time’ to commemorate Fleur’s valiant but unknown exploits.
His book is expected to be released next year.