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Central Brittany Branch

Normandy - Part 1

Once again we went to Normandy for the D-Day landing ceremonies.  We stayed in Ranville and attended most on the ceremonies in that area. Basher aka David Bashford, paraded our standard, and stood there so proud of what he was doing, it made us proud of him, as well as being proud that our standard was being paraded there. He still stood just as proud as the week went on and he got wetter and wetter, especially Thursday where he had to take his shirt off to drive home, because he was so wet. The rain had gone through his suit to his skin.

On the first day we did 8 ceremonies, 3 being at the Pegasus museum, this was an eye opener to Basher just as to how many ceremonies there are to be done in that area, because this is where a lot of the action was on D-Day.

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Our first one was Bavent, where there is also a memorial to the Canadians, This was followed by 3 at the Pegasus memorial museum. The aim at Benouville bridge, as it was then, and now renamed Pegasus bridge was to stop the Germans attacking from the east, and also to take command of the bridge to allow our troops to cross, and there is now a memorial there in the form of a museum which is dedicated to the 6th airborne division,

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There you can see one of the actual horsa gliders that landed on the side of the river, and a reconstruction of one, as well as the original bridge.  

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Wreaths were laid at the statue of Brigadier James Hill, followed by a ceremony at the original bridge, then the inauguration of the display of the lives during and after the war of 11 of the veterans, 9 of which were there to see it opened. It has photos and a film show, as a temporary display.

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Fred, a proud veteran

The afternoon was St Vaast en Auge,where wreaths were laid on the 11 British and 1 Canadian killed on D-Day, Then on to Bures sur dives, for wreath laying at the memorial to Captain Jukes, and Troan, for both the cemetery, and outside the Hotel de Ville.  These last ones only started at 6pm, so by the time they were finished, and we had the vin d’honneur, we were all very hungry. Rodney spotted a fireman, and asked where there was to eat close by, having been told at one place they were full, the fireman promptly got onto his phone, rang a hotel, booked us a table and then led the way there, introducing us to the management. That was an example of class emergency service!

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