Matron’s carry on in Libya row

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A FORMER matron who was brave enough to challenge terrorism in Libya has died at the age of 82.

Plucky Marjorie Draper (pictured) hit the headlines almost 40 years ago when she was expelled from Tripoli by Colonel Gaddafi’s government.

A Foreign Office worker, she had been posted as matron to an exclusive clinic in the Libyan capital, where she had already dodged death by witnessing a roadside assassination attempt on Gaddafi.

Miss Draper then discovered certain wards at her clinic were sealed off and, ignoring warnings to stay out, found Palestinian doctors were secretly nursing wounded terrorists in them.

It was shortly after the Munich Olympic Games massacre in 1972, when 11 Israeli athletes were murdered.

Gaddafi was rumoured to have helped finance the terrorist culprits, the Palestinian Black September Movement.

Three survivors from the movement even spent a week at the clinic following their dramatic hijack release from Munich.

“I was disgusted about the way the clinic treated these terrorists as heroes,” stormed Miss Draper at the time.

“When the Israeli athletes were slaughtered in Munich I could not keep my feelings bottled up any more.”

The disgruntled spinster complained to her colleagues, who she believes reported her to senior officials. Soon afterwards she was followed everywhere she went by secret policemen. Weeks later she was dismissed without reason.

Miss Draper promptly went to see Libya’s Minister for Labour who listened to her story and told her to return the following day.

“I did so. But when I walked into his office he told me to go to hell,” she said.

The clinic refused to pay her back salary so Miss Draper, then 44, was left with no money and officials following her constantly. Undeterred she set off in her Volkswagen Beetle car and drove for four days across Europe back home to Milton Keynes.

Afterwards the former Bradwell district nurse was matron at a home for the elderly locally.

She lived in Permayne, New Bradwell, close to one of her sisters. Despite health problems which led to both legs being amputated, she maintained her fierce independence.

“She was an amazing woman and we are all very proud of her,” said nephew Colin Richardson.

Her funeral is on April 18 at Crownhill Crematorium.