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Kisray, René Marc (Kisraouilly)

Date of birth:
January 14th, 1903
Date of death:
January 25th, 2001
Service number:


Before the war Rene 'Mac' Kisraouilly (later changed into Kisray) - born into a rich Tunesian family- lived very comfortable in Nice, France having his own boat and airplane.
In 1939 he joined the RASC and because he was fluent in Arabic, French and Italian was noted by the SIS who recruited him and subsequently was posted out to Egypt. He worked with the Long Range Deser Group and untertook several missions behind enemy lines.
After the allies had captured Tunis, he went there to find his family and also managed to establish a contact with communist Italians who had fled Italy and tried to organisine calndestine partisan groups following the invasion of Italy.
In Italy, he continued to work clandestinely.
After the war he lived an adventurous life in Italy, France and Korea after which he lived in Nice for 20 years and then lived in England.
He was married 3 times.

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Second World War (1939-1945)
ISLD, Secret Intelligence Service (SIS), Directorate of Military Intelligence (DMI), Imperial General Staff, War Office, British Government
Awarded on:
September 25th, 1947
"Having rendered valuable and courageous service behind the enemy lines in the North African desert for which he was mentioned in despatches, this officer was put into contact with the communist party in Tunis in 1943.
As soon as the Allies went into Italy Captain Kisray managed to smuggle in with him a very important member of the Communist Party and as a result of this officer's efforts, encouraging them, against strong opposition, to contact and organise Communist partisan movements in Northern Italy.

His efforts were so successful that the Northern Italian Communist Party agreed to work whole-heartedly for the provision of secret military intelligence to the Allies. The information which was produced through the Committee proved of great value, its volume and accuracy, which were considerable, being attributable in a very large measure to the unerring resourcefulness of Captain Kisray who was required to show constant tact, understanding and determination in his dealings with these men; the latter at the outset were anything but willing to co-operate and during the whole period of operations they required constant encouragement and reassurance to continue.

Owing to the suspicious nature of the committee, Captain Kisray's own position was at all times delicate and he was forced to retire on the arrival of Togliatti in Italy. He thereupon turned his attention to the production of secret political intelligence and a large proportion of such information was directly attributable to his efforts in 1944-1945.

It was due to his excellent high-level contacts, intelligence, resourcefulness and energy that the threatened strike in Naples in 1944, which would have been so damaging to Allied progress at this vital stage, was thwarted.

During the three years which this officer worked for this department he showed unusual zeal, initiative, good humour and devotion, and is strongly recommended for this decoration."
Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE)