Sunday, 28 June 2009

Reasons to visit Lénault in June

Posted by Rosie

D-Day Landings and World War II.

June 6th marks the anniversary of the D-Day landings on the Normandy beaches and thus the beginning of the end of World War II. Each year, for those interested in history and genealogy, there are ceremonies and events to honour the men and women who fought to free France. We are just an hour away from the nearest Landing Beaches of Juno, Sword and Gold and all around us are guided routes, cemeteries and museums detailing the events of that time. From the house we can see Mount Pincon, a vitally important hill which has a memorial to the soldiers who fought there. The Mayor's Office at Lénault has a plaque on the wall thanking the Wessex Division who liberated the village. Heading west from here is the village of Monchamp which was a centre for the local resistance and a recently opened tearoom and museum* allows visitors to enjoy a slice of cake and learn more about the War and the Resistance Movement. A bit further on is the cemetery at St Charles de Percy, one of many in Normandy for the soldiers who fell from Britain, America, Canada and Germany.

Genealogy is a hobby of mine, although one which has been on the back burner since the boys were born. From my research so far though, I have found no family members who were in the armed forces during World War II but that doesn't mean this section of history does not interest me. Quite the opposite and I had meant to do a bit more research into the history and commemorative events but I'm afraid June has slipped by without my managing to do this. I'll try and find out a bit more and post it up in due course but if anyone else knows more or has an interesting tale to tell of some-one involved in the D-Day landings I'd love to hear from you.

* The tearoom at Montchamp is open, despite what the website says, but I'm afraid I don't know if the museum is yet. Perhaps some-one could enlighten me.

4 comments :

  1. Not involved in the D Day landings as such but my grandfather's blacksmith shop came within the area evacuated for Operation Tiger, the practise run for the D Day landings. Fortunately their home was just outside the boundary.There are scanned copies of the documents on my Family tree website, also an aeriel photo of the Line. ( Slapton/Torcross )

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  2. Annie that is of great interest as my Father's uncle had the house, I believe, on the hill overlooking Slapton. He had to leave it for Operation Tiger, I think as an observation post. He was promised that the house would be out of the 'firing' zone, but it was hit on the first day of training my a stray shell! I don't know how much damage was done as the house was still there in the sixties, when we passed it on hoilday, and were told about the above - hence my hazy memories - Simon

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  3. Oh my goodness, it never clicked, extactly where you are!!! How fastincating. I had a grandfather who I believe was in the D-day landings and made it all the way to Germany! I have 2 photos, one of him before he left (he looks 12) and one of him guarding a German bridge. He never talked about it at all, not one peep, ever. My other papa stayed at home and continued to work in Harland and Wolff. My husband's family was heavily involved in fighting the Italians. His great uncle was there when Mussolini was hanged and was one of the soliders who cut him down!! History is fab, both of us study it and Andrew is an Acheologist. We are diffentaley going to be visitors at the Gite

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  4. You're right Carrie - history is wonderful and it would be great if you could find out which beach your grandfather landed on. My Dad was too young to fight and his father was a farmer so stayed home work the land. My other grandfather only had one lung so didn't fight - I think he drove ambulances but Mum is never very forthcoming with information.

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