The weekend started at Vannes on Friday 18 June at 11h00 on the Plateau de la Garenne. The branch had accepted an official invitation to attend a remembrance service to commemorate the speech made by General de Gaulle from the BBC in London on 18 June 1940. Branch standard bearer, Jimmy Rowe, joined the French contingent of standard bearers around the Monument to the Fallen and chairman Rodney Curtis lined up with the VIPs at the front of the parade. Vice chairman Mick Berrill took up position joining the Green Beret contingent.
After the service came the unveiling of the plaque and the official opening of L’Allee des Francais Libres, followed by an invitation to have drinks at the Hotel de Ville. With regret, officers had to turn down this invitation since the branch had also received official invitations to attend another four ceremonies in the Lorient area and the first was due to start in Lorient at 14h00.
Officers arrived in Lorient with enough time to sit for a moment and enjoy a refreshing drink before arriving at the rue Honore d'Orves near the Cite de la voile Tarbarly. Here they were met by host, Jean Waitzmann, representing officer for la Foundation de la France Libre. There followed a small but dignified tribute to the Resistance and Free French Forces duly honoured and recognised in the naming of the road. This was followed later in the same format at Lanester with the naming of a roundabout.
Branch Standard bearer, Jimmy Rowe, lines up alongside the French standards at the Jardin de la Garenne, Vannes
A local hero is honoured in St Aignan
The day continued with the group lining up once again in their well rehearsed positions at 18h00 for a patriotic ceremony at the war memorial in Place Delune, Lanester. As well as the dignitaries that attend such events officers were pleased see the children of Lanester very much involved in the proceedings. At the end of this very busy and enjoyable day, officers visited the art exhibition of France Libre and a final drinks reception in Lanester’s Hotel de Ville.
The weekend of remembrance ended on Sunday 20 June; an early start with a ceremony at the Parachute Cross near Serent was followed by a mass at the Monument de la Nouette, near to the Resistance Museum at St Marcel.
Vice chairman Mick Berrill said: "It was a pleasure to have taken part in all of these events; the culmination of many years of participation and groundwork by our previous standard bearer Dave Ball. We met some familiar friends and also made some new ones among the community leaders and, most importantly, with our counterparts in the French veterans associations."
Standard bearers get ready for parade in Lanester
Lining up in remembrance at Lanester