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About this Famous Person



French secret agent who spied on the Germans for the British during World War I

Source :  jbocquet

Born: on July 07, 1880 in Saint-Amand-les-Eaux, Nord, France
Died: on September 17, 1918 in Cologne, Germany


Louise, the "Joan of Arc of the North", was the daughter of Julienne Mabille de Ponchevillle and Henri de Bettignies, an old Walloon noble family from Hainaut which established imperial and royal earthenware manufacturing in Tournai in the XVIII century. Her great-grandfather, Louis-Maximilien, opened a china shop at the "Moulin des Loups" in Saint-Amand-les-Eaux. Due to financial difficulties, Henri de Bettignies sold the business shortly before his daughter was born.

Despite being penniless, the young girl was taught the values and given the education of her peers. She completed her secondary education in Valenciennes, finding in education an escape from her poverty and the death of her father in 1903. Following in the footsteps of her priest and sister, she then went to Carmel before using her intellectual abilities to become a housekeeper to English and German families, so as to learn their languages and discover Europe.

In 1914, German troops invaded the north of France. In October, Louise, together with her sister, participated in the defence of Béthune, providing the besieged with fresh supplies.

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