Yvonne Burney obituary | Italian CDs | Misuse of fortuitous | ‘Middle-class’ cords | Winter fuel allowance

Juliette Pattinson’s fascinating obituary of the remarkably courageous Yvonne Burney (11 November), the Special Operations Executive wireless operator who was parachuted into occupied France in 1944, played a key role in the resistance and survived imprisonment in Ravensbrück concentration camp, mentions that France awarded her the Croix de Guerre and made her a chevalier of the Légion d’Honneur. Britain deemed her worthy of nothing higher than the MBE. The defectiveness of the honours system evidently has deep roots.
David Head

• I too am grateful to the Guardian for inspiring me to learn a language (Letters, 8 November), Italian. Several years ago the Guardian gave away Michel Thomas’s Italian CDs which prompted me to stimulate my ageing brain by learning a new language. Many years later I am still learning. With the help of books and CDs augmented by an adult learning class with a brilliant and inspiring teacher at the Crieff Learning Centre of the University of Highlands and Islands.
Alice Collinson
Crieff, Perthshire

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