PASSENGERS travelling from Taunton Station will soon be able to hop onto a train commemorating a Second World War spy who lived in the Wellington area.

Frenchwoman Odette Hallowes (1912-95), who lived in Whiteball and London, was the most highly decorated woman in the conflict and one of the few women to win the George Cross.

She was conducting an undercover operation in France which was infiltrated by a Nazi officer.

Odette was brutally interrogated by the Gestapo and the torture techniques included having her back scorched by a red hot poker and having her toenails plucked out.

But she bravely refused to betray her fellow agents, so was condemned to death in 1943 on two counts.

She sneered at her interrogators: "Then you will have to make up your mind on what count I am to be executed because I can only die once."

Odette pretended to be related to Churchill, which probably saved her life as she was instead sent to Ravensbruck Concentration Camp, which she withstood the appalling conditions.

A ceremony to name a Great Western Railway train in her honour at Paddington Station on Friday, March 6, will be attended by members of her family.

Odette's granddaughter Sophie Parker said: "We are thrilled that our grandmother is being recognised and remembered in this fantastic way.

"She was an incredible woman whose bravery and courage, not only from her wartime service, but also as she lived with the effects of the torture that she suffered.

"I know she would be humbled by this and would want it seen as a tribute to all those brave women of the Special Operations Executive, especially those who never returned home."

Other wartime heroes having Inter City express trains named after them to mark the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War include D Day veteran Harry Billinge, Wing Commander Ken Rees who was imprisoned in Stalag Luft III and Alan Turing. who led the operation to break German codes.

GWR head of communications Dan Panes said: "Naming trains and locomotives is a long tradition of the railway and one which GWR continues, supporting and promoting the people and communities we serve.

"I am really pleased we are able to honour some of the heroes of the war effort, continuing to help tell their incredible stories, and especially during this year where we remember all those who gave so much."