"A Schoolmaster's War" by Jonathan Ree

A Schoolmaster's War A British Agent in the French Resistance Jonathan Ree

Publication date:
24 Mar 2020
Yale University Press
192 pages: 210 x 140mm
24 b-w illus.
Sales territories:

A school teacher at the start of the war, Harry Rée renounced his former pacifism with the fall of France in 1940. He was deployed into a secret branch of the British army and parachuted into central France in April 1943.

Harry showed a particular talent for winning the confidence of local resisters, and guided them in a series of dramatic sabotage operations, before getting into a hand-to-hand fight with an armed German officer, from which he was lucky to escape.

This might seem like a romantic story of heroism and derring-do, but Harry Rée's own war writings, superbly edited and contextualized by his son, the philosopher Jonathan Rée, are far more nuanced, shot through with doubts, regrets, and grief.

Harry Rée, DSO, OBE, was a British school teacher and educationist and a wartime member of the Special Operations Executive.Jonathan Rée, son of Harry Rée, is a freelance historian and philosopher. His books include Philosophical Tales, I See a Voice and Witcraft.