When World War I erupted, Louise Thuliez was leading a peaceful life as a teacher in France. Her world was soon upended by the conflict, and her desire to aid her countrymen and allies drove her to extraordinary acts of courage and resilience.

A Relentless Spirit

Denied a position with the Red Cross, Thuliez did not let this setback deter her. Her unwavering determination to make a difference led her to join forces with the renowned British nurse Edith Cavell. Together, they became linchpins in an escape network that helped allied soldiers trapped behind enemy lines.

The Dual Role: Nurse by Day, Guide by Night

Thuliez’s commitment to the cause was relentless. By day, she served as a nurse, tending to the wounded and ill. By night, she transformed into a guide, shepherding soldiers from safe houses to Cavell’s hospital. If the hospital was at capacity or German patrols were too thick, Thuliez found alternative refuges, ensuring the safety and eventual escape of countless soldiers.

Betrayal and Imprisonment

Her courageous activities, however, did not go unnoticed. The network was compromised when Gaston Quien, a French collaborator posing as a refugee, infiltrated their ranks. Thuliez, along with 30 others, was arrested and condemned to death. The international outcry that followed, with appeals from senior diplomats, politicians, and even monarchs, eventually spared her life. Nevertheless, she spent the remainder of the war in a German prison.

Continued Resistance in World War II

Thuliez’s indomitable spirit shone again as World War II loomed. Despite the risks, she resumed her covert activities, this time aiding in the establishment of an escape line through the Auvergne region. Her efforts during this period were no less heroic, and remarkably, she evaded capture by the Gestapo throughout the conflict.

Louise Thuliez led a quiet life after the war. She died in Paris on October 10, 1966. Her birthplace of Preux-au-Bois honored her with a statue in 1970. In 1974, a street in Paris, the Rue de Louise Thuliez, was also named for her.