World War II resistance in France

Discussion in 'User Introductions' started by Tiffanie, Jan 6, 2015.

  1. Tiffanie

    Tiffanie New Member

    Hello everybody !

    I'm Tiffanie and I'm a frenchgirl.
    My great grand-father Jules VISTEL was a resistant during the Wolrd War II in Burgundy at the maquis "Le Loup". His name resistant were "LARIDOU or LARIDON".
    He save two SAS soldiers and a french interpreter who were ambushed the 20th of july 1944 in the forest of Fretoy.
    This is the story :

    The english SAS were in liaison mission and were all 5 (because they were 4 english soldiers and 1 french) ambushed, there were a germany dam in front of them so they shot with the machine gun and had make much damages german side but the Captain Laurence Roy Bradford and the Craftman William Henry Devine are died by the german and others english soldiers and french interpreter can escape by the cornfield and then by hoods.
    It's at this moment that my great grand-father seen them and decide to shelter and care because the two english were wounded in action. After my great grand-father drive them in local maquis later.

    I found the names of the SAS soldiers : there were the Sergeant Frederick "Chalky" White, sergeant Cornelius "Maggie" McGinn and the french interpreter Jacques Morvillier, the Captain Laurence Roy Bradford, the craftman Willial Henry Devine.
    I know also there were the Major Fraser.

    I would like more informations about the soldiers and the interpreter abd why not if ti's possible some pictures.. And maybe find their progenies ?
    Anyone can help me in my researchs ?

    Best regards

    TriciaF likes this.
  2. Deacs

    Deacs Well i am from Cumbria. Patron

    Welcome to the forum Tiffanie.

    Your first post looks good and very interesting I hope someone can come along and help you out.

    Regards Michael.
  3. Tiffanie

    Tiffanie New Member

    Thank you Michael, it's just an executive summary but I have more informatiosn if someone need!

    Best regards
  4. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

    BRADFORD, LAURENCE ROY Rank: Captain Service No: 124886 Date of Death: 20/07/1944 Age: 28 Regiment/Service: Devonshire Regiment attd. "A" Sqdn., 1st Special Air Service Regiment, A.A.C. Grave Reference: Plot 3. Row T. Grave 1. Cemetery: CRAIN COMMUNAL CEMETERY Additional Information: Son of Charles Horace and Mabel Dora Bradford, of Barnstaple, Devon; husband of Joan Bradford.

    DEVINE, WILLIAM HENRY Rank: Craftsman Service No: 5337350 Date of Death: 20/07/1944 Age: 24 Regiment/Service: Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers attd. "A" Sqdn., 1st Special Air Service Regiment, A.A.C. Grave Reference: Plot 3. Row T. Grave 2. Cemetery: CRAIN COMMUNAL CEMETERY
  5. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

  6. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron



    Laurence Roy Bradford and his troop parachuted into the Morvan area of France on 21 June 1944 as part of Operation Houndsworth, to carry out attacks on the German forces, assisting the local Maquis in preventing reinforcements from reaching the invasion beaches.

    On 19th July 1944, he, with two of his troop, a REME mechanic, William Henry Devine and a young maquisard, set off by jeep to contact a Maquis in the area north of Clamecy.

    They travelled by night, avoiding the main roads as the RAF was strafing anything that moved. Driving through the small hamlet of Lucy-sur-Yonne early the next morning, they were waved down by two Germans, not realising that they were British soldiers. As the jeep raced on they found themselves in the midst of a stationary German troop convoy, breakfasting at the side of the road.

    Too late to turn back, they blazed away with their jeep-mounted machine guns, causing considerable casualties amongst the unprepared Germans.

    As they cleared the end of the convoy, a Spandau in the last truck opened fire, Bradford and-the REME craftsman were killed instantly and two of the others were wounded. They escaped into the nearby woods and subsequently rejoined their units.

    The dead were buried in the cemetery at Crain and in 1994, on the 50th Anniversary of this action, a memorial stone was erected by the local community beside the road, now named the Rue du 20 Juillet.

    Info from Bill Sheret (#48564029)
    4jonboy likes this.
  7. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

  8. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member


    Previous discussion on French Maquis groups/SAS infiltration into the Morvan June -September 1944

    There is an excellent account of the activities of the two groups by Ian Wellsted in his"SAS with the Maquis.In action with the French Resistance .June -September 1944".It .might have been later published in French but I am not aware if this was the intention.

    You have a good account of the incident which Roy Bradford and William Devine were killed....they were in the back of the jeep.Chalky White was in the front and received an arm and leg wound but escaped as you state,initially hiding in corn stooks.Maggie McGinn was the driver of the jeep and the French interpreter,Jacques Morvillier was a member of Maquis Jean.After fleeing into the woods before the Germans could catch up with them,the trio holed up in the woods all day and night while the Germans patrolled to seek them out.At first light Jacques,despite a shattered elbow, went to seek help from civilians and brought back food.Later in the evening the Maquis picked up the group and took them to the Maquis hospital where Chalky White and Jacques received medical attention.

    It has been said that when William Devine was killed.he must have been slumped over the rear guns in such a way that Roy Bradford could not return fire while the jeep was at speed.In the end it was the quick thinking of Maggie McGinn who pulled the two wounded from the jeep and pushed them through the hedge when the jeep came to a standstill as it gave up,probably from damage sustained in the exchange of fire.

    I would think there should be some French publications covering resistance and SAS activites in the Morvan at this time....good luck with your research into your Great Grandfather's role.
    4jonboy likes this.
  9. 4jonboy

    4jonboy Daughter of a 56 Recce

    Hello Tiffanie and welcome to the forum.

    I see you have some good information from members already :)
    Good luck with your research.

  10. Nijmegen

    Nijmegen Member

    CL1 likes this.
  11. TriciaF

    TriciaF Junior Member

    Tiffanie - you might find some books about the French Resistance in the Morvan area in a local Tabac.
    I've found a few here (Gers) written by local researchers.
  12. Kayleigh

    Kayleigh New Member

    I realise that this post is now 3 years old but I am the granddaughter of Cornelius McGinn and would love to hear your greatgrandfathers story. Hopefully you will receive an email alert and come back to this thread.

    Kayleigh McGinn

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