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From Rifleman to Secret Agent – 6.30p.m. Thursday 15 February 2024

An Evening Talk in The Kincaid Gallery  by Paul McCue.

The Story of Major Amédee Maingard of of the Special Operations Executive.

On the outbreak of war, Maingard, a British subject of French ancestry and from Mauritius, immediately volunteered for the British Army and was posted to the 2nd Bn, Queen Victoria’s Rifles.

He subsequently volunteered for the Special Operations Executive (SOE), created on Churchill’s orders to “set Europe ablaze”.  After training, he served behind the lines in occupied France in 1943-1944, initially as a radio operator, but later as the leader of his own ‘SHIPWRIGHT’ circuit in time to support the Forces Françaises de l’Intérieure (FFI) and the arrival of fifty-five men of Operation BULBASKET of 1st SAS Regiment, shortly after D-Day.

Decorated by both the British and French governments, Maingard returned to Mauritius and was a driving force in developing the island’s tourism and hotel industry, but hardly spoke of his wartime service – even to his immediate family.

Paul has been a military history writer for over 30 years and has aurthored five books.  He retired as Managing Director of a London-based leisure and culture company in 2018 to devote himself full-time to SECRET WW2 – The Secret WW2 Learning Network.

The Network is an educational charity specialising in clandestine warfare and special forces, intelligence and resistance operations in the Secord World War.  Paul regularly gives talks and presentations in the UK and overseas as Executive Trustee of SECRET WW2 and in that position acts as an historical consultant and guide for the present-day military, including special forces and special operations units. He is presently involved in SECRET WW2 projects in the UK, France, Slovakia, Austria, Israel and Australia.

In addition to his historical work, he attempts to keep up to date as a member of the Royal United Services Institute and he serves on the committee of 261 (Guildford) Squadron, Air Training Corps where he was a cadet, half a century ago.  He has spent eleven years as Armed Forces Advisor to a London Borough and he remains a civilian member of the Greater London Reserve Forces’ and Cadets’ Association.

Tickets for the talk are £20.00 or £17.50 for Friends of the Museum. They can be purchased online through the Museum shop  –


or over the phone weekdays between 10am and 4pm on 01962 828549.

Doors open at 5.45pm and the talk starts at 6.30pm.