Secret agent, unsung hero: The valour of Bruce Dowding

Thursday, 8th February 2024 - 6:00pm to 7:30pm


A Margaret River Readers & Writers Festival Fundraiser.

When Bruce Dowding left Melbourne in January 1938, he planned only to undertake a short course at the Sorbonne in Paris. With fascism in Europe ascendant, it had drawn the greats of 20th century music, art and literature like moths to a flame. Dowding chose not to leave a city he found intoxicating.

The outbreak of World War II threw him into a moral crisis. Raised as a pacifist, he felt driven to support France – even if it meant enlisting with the British Army as an interpreter. He survived the 1940 German invasion, escaped a POW camp by crawling through a sewer, and reached the relative safety of Vichy France by the European autumn.

Despite Bruce Dowding’s role in the rescue of hundreds of Allied servicemen, Australia has never recognised him as one of its heroes.

Join Peter Dowding SC, leading Australian lawyer and former Labor politician as he discusses his new book Secret Agent, Unsung Hero that traces his uncle’s extraordinary journey from suburban Melbourne to the hellfire of Europe at war.

Doors 5.30pm, Talk and Q&A from 6.00pm. Talk followed by book sales and signings.

Proudly presented by Arts Margaret River and Margaret River Book Shop.

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