Last update: 1 February 2019 - Dernière mise-à-jour: 1 février 2019
Gustave (Guy) Biéler, DSO MBE
1904 - 1944
God Save the Queen La Marseillaise France's National Anthem
This site is dedicated to the memory of Gustave (Guy) Biéler.
Originally from France, Gustave Daniel Alfred Biéler had emigrated to Montreal when he was 20 and became a Canadian citizen ten years later in 1934. In 1940, as an officer with the Régiment de Maisonneuve, he left his wife and two young children to sail for Scotland. He volunteered for SOE service in 1942. At 38, he was the oldest in his training class and was called “Grand-dad” by the others. After 4 months of training, Biéler parachuted into France southwest of Paris. However, his landing in France did not go well. He severely injured his back in his fall and was forced to spend many months recuperating. As soon as he was able, he used his convalescence period to recruit agents for his sabotage network. The network was to receive arms dropped in by SOE and use them to blow up trains and rail lines and disrupt German troop movements. He eventually oversaw the operation of 25 separate armed teams which systematically blew up rail lines and switching boxes and destroyed and derailed German troop trains in northern France.
Biéler was a warm and affable man, highly regarded by his French co-workers. In January 1944, the Germans closed in on Biéler and his radio operator, Yolande Beekman, and arrested them in a small café in northern France.
For months Biéler was tortured but the Gestapo learned nothing – except respect for his courage and dignity. When he walked to his death in September he was accompanied by an SS Guard of honor. Instead of being gassed or hanged, he was shot – the only known case of an officer in these circumstances by a firing squad.
We can find numerous publications with entries which describe the distinguished career enjoyed by Guy Biéler:
- Wikipedia profile on Guy Biéler.
- CBC Article
on book titled "Out of Night and Fog: The Story of Major Guy Bieler, Special Operations Executive" by Guy Biéler's daughter Jacqueline Biéler.
- Article by the The Wig Standard on Guy Biéler.
- National Post article
regarding Guy Biéler.
- Segment from the Secret Liberators from YouTube which includes mention of Guy Biéler at about 8min40sec mark.
- Segment from the Secret Liberators from YouTube which includes mention of Guy Biéler at about 0min0sec mark.
- Legion Magazine feature on the story of Guy Biéler.
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