Andrée Borrel was born in France on 18th November, 1919. The daughter of working-class parents, she grew up on the outskirts of Paris. At fourteen she left school to become a dressmaker.
In 1933 she moved to Paris where she found work as a shop assistant in a bakery, the Boulangerie Pujo. Two years later she moved to a shop called the Bazar d'Amsterdam.
On the outbreak of the Second World War Borrel moved with her mother to Toulon on the Mediterranean coast. After training with the Red Cross she joined the Association des Dames de France and worked in Beaucaire treating wounded soldiers of the French Army.
After France surrendered Borrel and her friend, Maurice Dufour, joined the French Resistance. They established a villa outside Perpignan close to the Spanish border. Over the next six months they joined the network led by Albert Guérisse, that helped British airman shot down over France to escape back to Britain.
In December 1940 the network was betrayed Borrel and Dufour were forced to abandon the villa and hid in Toulouse. Eventually they escaped to Portugal where Borrel went to work at the Free French Propaganda Office at the British Embassy in Lisbon. Borrel stayed in Portugal until April 1942 when she travelled to London.
On her arrival Borrel was taken to the Royal Patriotic School where she was interrogated in case she was a double agent. Although she was known to have strong socialist views she was recruited by the Special Operations Executive (SOE) as a British special agent.
Given the code name "Denise", Borrel and Lise de Baissac, became the first women agents to be was parachuted into France on 24th September 1942. They landed in the village of Boisrenard close to the town of Mer. After staying with the French Resistance for a couple of days Baissac moved to Poiters to start a new network whereas Borrel went to Paris to join the new Prosper Network that was to be led by Francis Suttill and included Jack Agazarian and Gilbert Norman.
Suttill was impressed with Borrel and despite her young age in March 1943 became second in command of the network. He told the Special Operations Executive in London that she "has a perfect understanding of security and an imperturbable calmness." He added: "Thank you very much for having sent her to me."
On 23rd June, 1943, the three key members of the Prosper Network, Borrel, Francis Suttill and Gilbert Norman, were arrested. Borrel was taken to Avenue Foch, the Gestapo headquarters, in Paris. After being interrogated she was sent to Fresnes Prison.
On 13th May 1944 the Germans transported Borrel and seven other SOE agents, Vera Leigh, Diana Rowden, Sonya Olschanezky, Yolande Beekman, Eliane Plewman, Madeleine Damerment and Odette Sansom, to Nazi Germany.
On 6th July 1944, Borrel along with Vera Leigh, Diana Rowden and Sonya Olschanezky, were taken to the Concentration Camp at Natzweiler. Later that day they were injected with phenol and put in the crematorium furnace.