A CHARITY hopes to raise the profile of a “little-known wartime hero” and three of her brave colleagues with a very special birthday present.

Sussex educational charity the Secret WW2 Learning Network has unveiled plans to honour four Brighton-born secret agents on the 100th birthday of “one of the bravest daughters of Brighton and Hove” Jacqueline Nearne.

Three of her fellow Brighton-born wartime spies, Captain Michael Trotobas, Captain Edward Zeff MBE and Captain Ronald Taylor, will all be recognised in a special service in November.

The exploits of the four agents will also be featured in a book Brighton’s Secret Agents published to coincide with the birthday celebrations by charity trustee Paul McCue.

Four blue plaques will appear at addresses in Carlton Hill, West Hill, North Place and Embassy Court this winter.

Secret WW2 Learning Network’s Brighton-born chief executive Martyn Cox described Lieutenant Nearne as “a little-known Second World War hero” and “one of the bravest daughters of Brighton and Hove”.

She worked for the French section of the Special Operations Executive, set up by wartime Prime Minister Winston Churchill to support resistance movements, and was rewarded with an MBE from the UK and the Croix de Guerre from France.

Captain Trotobas, who was killed in action, and Captain Edward Zeff MBE, who also received the Croix de Guerre, also risked their lives behind enemy lines in France while Captain Taylor served in Italy with resisting partisans.

The Secret WW2 Learning Network has been working with Brighton and Hove Commemorative Plaque Panel, Brighton and Hove Heritage Commission, The Gerry Holdsworth Special Forces Trust and Visit Brighton to develop a series of talks, films, books, exhibits and special schools projects to run throughout November.

Brighton Dome, Brighton Pavilion, the Old Ship Hotel, City Books and Uniform Press are all also involved in the major project.

Mr Cox said: “The blue plaques themselves will provide lasting recognition in Brighton and Hove of the courage, ingenuity and resilience of these four wartime secret agents while working ‘behind the lines’ in occupied Europe."

Chris Warne, director of the Resistance Studies Network at the University of Sussex, said: “This is an exciting opportunity for the Resistance Studies Network and the University of Sussex to bring the importance of resistance to a wider audience and to explore the significance of locally born individuals within the wider resistance story.”