The Secret Intelligence Service (SIS) is the foreign intelligence service of the United Kingdom. As the name suggests, its role is to protect the UK's national security through covert overseas missions. The SIS was formed in 1909, mainly due to concerns that German spies were targeting the British Empire. Under the supervision of former Royal Navy Officer, Mansfield Cumming, the SIS came up with a number of creative ways to monitor suspicious activity. One such method was to hire women as clerks, drivers and secretaries, many of whom earned a higher wage than their peers. Of course, some of these women were also involved in espionage — floating under the radar as dancers, florists and homemakers.
Due to its secretive nature, it's difficult to know precisely how many women participated in these early illicit missions. Edith Cavell is one of the most famous female British spies. She used her position as a charge nurse to aid in the escape of two-hundred Allied soldiers from German-occupied Belgium. Sadly, she was caught by Germans and was executed.
Maude Muller was another secret agent whose mission came in a surprising form. The colonel in the British secret service requested Maude's assistance while she was on holiday in Canada. Her task was to befriend the elevator operator at the hotel where she was staying, allowing her to track his involvement with German spies. Due to her work, seven spies were arrested.
Britain was not the only country employing women, however. Germany also had an extensive spy service made exclusively of women. German citizen Felice Schmidt was exiled from Germany in 1915 as part of an illicit operation where she settled in London in hopes of seducing Britain’s Secretary of State for War.
Did you learn something new? If you enjoy learning about women's roles in WWI and the secret service then you don't want to miss the 12th Ginger Gold Mystery, Murder on Fleet Street.
Mrs. Ginger Reed—the former Lady Gold—thought her past was dead and buried, but when the mysterious death of a British Secret Service agent threatens to expose her own Great War secrets, she’s faced with an unimaginable dilemma: break her legal vow to the Official Secrets Act or join the agency again, something she’s loathed to do.
Because once they own your soul, there’s no getting it back.
Murder on Fleet Street is not available for pre-order. It will be available for purchase on January 31st, 2020. Stay tuned!
New Journal Entry
We are entering the war years! Keep reading the journal to find out how Ginger ends up becoming part of the secret service. If you're not following and you'd like to, the Journal is available to my newsletter subscribers. You can subscribe HERE.
Check out this fun little project I'm doing with author Beth Byers! We'll be hosting a fun Valentine's contest, and maybe even a Facebook Party. Stay tuned!
The worlds of Ginger Gold and Violet Carlyle collide in this fun Valentine Mystery short story. Click on the button below to read the blurb.
Ps. It's available for pre-order!