She grew up in a working class family in Deptford and had a number of secretarial jobs on leaving school. In 1941 she was parachuted into occupied France. She spied on German troop deployments and acted as a courier, liaising between the resistance and allied military HQ in Britain. During this time she was billeted with two young French resistance agents. One night she entered their room and found them in an embrace. Rose, who knew nothing about homosexuality, asked them about it and was deeply moved by their stories of family prejudice and rejection. In 1965 she took in two young male lodgers and quickly realised that they were lovers. They, too, had suffered because of their parents' attitudes.
These experiences prompted Rose to set up Parents Enquiry, Britain's first helpline to advise and support parents and their lesbian, gay and bisexual children, which she ran from her home in Catford, south-east London, for the next 30 years.
- "Rose Robertson obituary" by Peter Tatchell, The Guardian 17 October 2011; http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/oct/26/rose-robertson-obituary
- http://www.fflag.org.uk/index.php?option=com_content&view=section&id=18&Itemid=36 "A tribute to Rose Robertson": (expired page: archived version available on the Internet Archive at https://web.archive.org/web/20130725124344/http://fflag.org.uk/index.php?option=com_content&view=section&id=18&Itemid=36)