WW2Talk members at D-Day70

Discussion in 'WW2 Battlefields Today' started by Mike L, Apr 24, 2014.

  1. Mike L

    Mike L Very Senior Member

    With all the discussion about the 'accreditation' and visitor passes for this year's 70th anniversary of D-Day it is obvious that there will be several forum members attending the events in Normandy.

    I have discovered today that Andy (son of a rat) and I will be on the same ferry (early Brittany Ferries Portsmouth/Ouistreham sailing on 3rd June) and we will be staying fairly close to each other during our visit.

    Who else from the forum will be in Normandy during the week 3rd to 9th of June and could we all arrange to meet up somewhere?

    I will be in the Houlgate area, son of a rat will be in Herouville, where will other forum members be staying?

    We could get some great photos for the 'forum members you have met' thread.
     
    dbf likes this.
  2. jagdpanther44

    jagdpanther44 Senior Member

    I will be there from 1st June to 8th June, and like many previous visits, will be staying in Saint-Aubin-sur-Mer.
     
  3. Jonathan Ball

    Jonathan Ball It's a way of life.

    I'll be in Normandy from June 5th - 8th in the employ of Leger. I don't know where I'm staying yet but I do have a nice badge with my name on.
     
  4. SDP

    SDP Incurable Cometoholic Patron

    I've tried this before and it only tends to work if the plan is to attend Ceremonies where, by definition, there is a fixed place and time. I've already made several such arrangements albeit not knowingly with WW2Talk members but with other contacts and old friends. Having said that, there may be at least one other WW2Talk member in Creully at 11am on the 6th.
     
  5. Smithy

    Smithy Junior Member

    I shall also be on that ferry Mike along with my father. If the sun is out we will be on the upper deck leaning against on the funnels as like five years ago. We are stopping from 3rd - 10th June at Chateau Martragny as like in 2009. Are we going to have to wear some kind of flower/sign so that we can look out for each other :biggrin:
     
  6. Mike L

    Mike L Very Senior Member

    JB, SDP, Smithy,

    It should be easier than that - just exchange mobile phone numbers by PM before we go!
     
  7. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake Gunner Tours

    I'll be there 4-8th based at Houlagte
     
  8. SDP

    SDP Incurable Cometoholic Patron

    Mike.

    Tried that. Mixed results because of distractions and changes of plan. I arranged to meet up with a number of missing-lynx forum members at Bovington a few years ago: I was the only one who showed up at the allotted time! Still worth giving it a go though! Anyone is welcome to PM me with their mobile number and outline plan. I'm there from early on the 5th and leaving via Cherbourg late ferry to Portsmouth on the 8th. Our itinerary is hectic, we are on a mission after all, so timing will be of the essence.......what did I say about distractions?
     
  9. Mike L

    Mike L Very Senior Member

    PMs sent with my mobile number.

    Apart from Pegasus bridge on the 5th we are hoping to get to the Sword beach International event (if the ticket arrangements are publicised in time!).
    Our trip is from the 3rd to the 9th and we don't have any firm plans for after the 6th yet, probably just a quick trip round the main beach areas. That should leave most evenings pretty free if anyone wants to suggest a centralish location to meet.
     
  10. Mike L

    Mike L Very Senior Member

    Steve (SDP) has sent me his very busy itinerary and it appears to me that most of the Brits will probably try to get to Pegasus Bridge (and maybe Merville) on the 5th.

    How about all trying to meet up some time (maybe mid-day) at Pegasus Bridge?
    I have a suspicion that the 'security zone' will not be all that tight until the 6th and anything north of the Caen Canal should be fairly easily accessible on the 5th. That depends on where you are travelling from of course!

    Steve, if you are going to Tilly Sur Seulles on the 7th have you thought about Villers Bocage the same day? it's only a few miles away. Seems like you might be following a particular unit's movements that day though?
     
  11. piaf

    piaf Member

    All being well
    Gill
     
  12. SDP

    SDP Incurable Cometoholic Patron

    Re the 7th, absolutely correct. 24th Lancers (8th Armoured Brigade) which was my Dad's unit. Ceremony in Tilly being arranged by Sherwood Rangers Yeomanry at the Museum of the Battle of Tilly sur Seulles and where the grounds contain memorials to the Civilians who lost their lives in the battle for Tilly, the Essex Regiment Memorial and the 24th Lancers Memorial. Also ceremony being arranged by 4th/7th Royal Dragoon Guards at Tessel where there is also a commemorative plaque to those who liberated the village, again including 24th Lancers, on 26th June 1944. We will also be following the route taken all those years ago, including Point 103, Chateau de Boislonde, Fontenay-Le-Pesnel, Tessel Wood, Tessel itself (aka Le Manoir in 1944) and the site of 24th Lancers most important, but not biggest, battle at Rauray. That area, not visited as much as most other places, also contains the impressive 49th Division Memorial just opposite the CWGC cemetery. Also a visit to the smallest Normandy cemetery at Jerusalem Crossroads (Chouain) which is north of Tilly on the Tilly to Bayeux road. Apart from three 24th Lancers, that also contains the grave of the youngest British soldier to die in Normandy (Pte Banks, 16 years old).
     
  13. SDP

    SDP Incurable Cometoholic Patron

    Gill
    I'm laying a wreath on behalf of 24th Lancers Old Comrades!
     
  14. Mike L

    Mike L Very Senior Member

    Steve,
    Sounds like a great little tour. I know the area fairly well as we used to have a cottage in Sermentot, between Tilly and Villers Bocage.

    In the grounds of the 'Musee de la bataille de Tilly' there used to be a bronze statue with a shrapnel hole straight through the heart. Is it still there? I never got into the museum - it was always closed when I was in the area!
     
  15. SDP

    SDP Incurable Cometoholic Patron

    The statue of Joan of Arc is still there as far as I know. Very poignant.

    The Museum should be open on the 7th because it's a weekend. The opening times are published on the internet but they don't always keep to those times. At least it is still open because it was, apparently, nearly closed a few years ago. Lovely little Museum when you can get in!
     
  16. Mike L

    Mike L Very Senior Member

    Might try to get to Tilly on the 7th then, would like to (finally) see the museum.
    We can combine it with visit to our former neighbours near Sermentot.

    On the 50th Anniversary we had 3 Normandy veterans from our Legion Branch with us (all now sadly passed away). One of them, Don Asquith, remembered a village called Cristot not too far from Tilly and asked if we could find it. When we arrived there he recognised the church, still bearing it's wartime damage. Our whole party, about 12 of us, were invited into a large house oppposite the church and several bottles of Champagne were opened for the vets and us.
    I struggled to translate some of the stories the house owner told of her memories of the war in Cristot and some of the civilian casualties but they were very moving and still fresh in her mind. As a young child she remembered being asleep on a relative's lap in the cellar when a piece of shrapnel entered the cellar and hit her relative in the shoulder. Her relative subsequently lost her arm. Every year around the anniversary of D-Day two ex-RAF Typhoon pilots stayed at the house but they were out when we were there.
    As we left Don asked me to tell her he was sorry they had damaged the church with their tank guns!
     
  17. SDP

    SDP Incurable Cometoholic Patron

    Mike

    Cristot is also on our list as it's part of the 'path of the 24th Lancers'. I presume Don was 4/7 Royal Dragoon Guards or was he talking collectively about the church steeple?

    The beauty, if that's the correct word, of the 24th Lancers campaign route is that they only fought in Normandy and were disbanded in July 1944 so their entire campaign was over just a few miles of 'Lancers territory', predominantly in the Martragny, Tilly, St Pierre, Fontenay, Tessel, Cristot and Rauray area. Apart from Martragny and, of course, the beaches, you can see almost the whole area from Point 103 which is on the St Pierre to Audrieu road. It's a pity that that modern scourge of the countryside, wind turbines, has now made its mark on Point 103 but I guess that makes the place easier to find!
     
  18. ritsonvaljos

    ritsonvaljos Senior Member

    Lucky chap!
     
  19. Mike L

    Mike L Very Senior Member

    Steve,
    I can't remember what unit Don was with, it could have been 4/7RDG, I don't think he was Lancers.
    I will see if I can get in touch with his son who should have his records.

    I will see what there is about those units in the Normandy books I have.
     
  20. SDP

    SDP Incurable Cometoholic Patron

    That would be useful. Although I've been to the area several times and know it well, more information is always pertinent in building the overall picture.

    If you get to Cristot, there is/was a carved wooded plaque just inside the church porch portraying the battle. This was made and presented by, I seem to recall, the late Tom Rennocks of the 4/7RDG.
     

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