Maria Krystyna Janina Skarbek, also known as Christina Granville was originally from an old aristocratic family in Poland which had a history of resistance.
After being chosen for the British Special Operations Executive (SOE), she traversed the High Tatra Mountains for six days in the blizzards of winter to take vital sabotage documents into Poland. She completed six missions into Poland and by all accounts Maria Skarbek was strong-willed, resourceful, brave, physically tough and adventuresome and took enormous security risks throughout her espionage career.
Like many young Polish women (Invisible Women Episode 6) she had a stoic defiance partly forged through her familial upbringing and the youth movements of Poland in the 1930s. She became the longest serving SOE woman espionage agent in WW 2 working numerous missions in Nazi-occupied Poland and France. After the war she returned to London, earned medals from England and France but her life was cut short in 1952 when she was murdered by a spurned suitor.
To hear more about the SOE and the youngest SOE woman agent, listen to Invisible Women Episode 7 coming up in May 2021.