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A Trip To Normandy

Article about: It would seem madame Gondree who served me was quite miserable? maybe they forget its not just about making money!!! I still bought a T shirt though as its something you cannot get anywhere

  1. #1
    Bellerophons Horse

    Default A Trip To Normandy

    Last year i was fortunate enough to spend 10 days in Normandy at a friends house in Montbourg (Nr St Mére Église)

    Visiting many of the Battle sights, Beaches, and cemeterys was a truely moving and humbling experience when you see the magnitude of the task those soldiers faced, I went to all the "usual" places, including Ranville/Benouville (better known as Pegasus Bridge) Dead Mans Corner, St Mere Eglise, Utah, Omaha, Sword, Juno, Gold, Carantan etc etc, as well as some not so well troden paths

    I also found a live US 30 cal round in the grounds of my friends farm house after a thunder storm it just washed out of the ground!, and the shattered remains of grey plastic torch with U.S.N stamped on its body from circa 1944 washed up on Cateret beach the day after a big storm, anyone thinking or wanting to go to Normandy? just do it its an amazing place which is like a living history lesson at every turn...... heres some of my pictures.....

    Montbourg Church from the house window, Montbourg was virtually flattened by shelling in the days after D-Day as Germans tried to repell the sea invaders getting in land

    Sherman at Utah

    Memorial at Utah to the Engineers "tough Hombres"

    View along Utah Beach

    German 88 at Omaha, eventually silenced by a US amphibious tank

    Memorial at Omaha

    View of Omaha from Coleville cemetery above the invasion beach

    There are sadly far to many unknown graves

    The trees you can see at the bottom of this picture are the ones seen in the opening part of Saving Private Ryan

    The reflection pool and ever lasting youth, a massive bronze statue!

    as can be seen with my 5 year old daughter stood at the foot of it!

    a poignant message you only really notice as you leave the grounds of the cemetary

  2. #2
    Bellerophons Horse

    Default Re: A Trip To Normandy

    some more

    Real Gothic arches in Carantan town square, as portrayed in Band of Brothers with Malarky leaning against them

    Carantan memorial from the great war with ww2 added

    A personal event from the night of 6th June in St Mére Église and a reminder of the sacrifice of members of the 101st as they Parachuted into France

    Wally Parr`s "gun" at Pegasus

    View along the "real" Pegasus bridge no in the Museum a few hundred yards from its original place

    Major John Howards para Helmet which he was wearing at the time a German sniper took a shot at him!! very good shot but only managed to graze the crown of major Howards head and knock him over!

    The grave at Ranville church cemetary of Lt Den Brotheridge the 1st recorded death of a British soldier on D-Day, he was shot in the neck as he reached the far side of Pegasus 20 feet from café Gondree, he died of his wounds some housr later, his grave is against the wall of the church cemetary away from the main war graves, he is burried alongside fellow paratroopers and with resistance fighters and German soldiers alike

    Main memorial inside Ranvillé British cemetary, although there are approximatley 30 German graves in the bottom left hand corner of this cemetary, the black cannisters on the corners of this memorial are believed to be either brake fluid tanks or air tanks taken from some of the crashed Horsa Gliders

    Horsa Glider "landing" places looking back towards Pegasus, each stand is an approximate landing position, and they were very close to hitting the bridge itself!!

    Major Howard

  3. #3
    Bellerophons Horse

    Default Re: A Trip To Normandy

    some more

    Orglandes German Cemetary, due to many factors a lot of German cemetarys are not in perfect places, or even what would be deemed planned, this cemetary was old farmland and has heavy slopes, it has over 10,000 German soldiers killed in heavy fighting in the region after D-day
    the contrast between German, American and Allied cemetaries is remakably different, German graves tend to be double sided and very gothic and clynical, Brithish and other allied graves are very much like the "rose garden" and American are large and impossing

  4. #4

    Default Re: A Trip To Normandy

    Make's me want to go right now. thanks for sharing the pictures and story of your trip.

    A small piece of a large country litterd with the remians of the truly courageous.


  5. #5
    Bellerophons Horse

    Default Re: A Trip To Normandy

    I have hundreds more!!

    It is the MOST humbling and intersting places i have ever been to, to see the scale of losses on all sides, the remains of war are every where, and it really does leave you in no doubt you ARE walking in the footsteps of Heroes

  6. #6

    Default Re: A Trip To Normandy

    very thought provoking ! thanks for sharing your photos ,

    cheers Al

  7. #7

    Default Re: A Trip To Normandy

    Hi, welcome to the forum and thanks for a great thread!

    Cheers, Ade.

  8. #8

    Default Re: A Trip To Normandy

    Very nice pics !! Thank for sharing

  9. #9
    Bellerophons Horse

    Default Re: A Trip To Normandy

    Thanks, Happy to share, here are a few more
    Café Gondreé, still owned by the Gondreé family, although the 2 sisters are currently fighting over who "owns" it, their parents decreed that no Veteran would ever pay for a drink if they went there, bear that in mind if you buy a drink there, as its 3 time more expensive than the café accross the road!

    The church at St Mére Église, always has the mock paratrooper hanging from where the real John Steele got caught, he survived the remainder of the war, the rest of the men of the 101st mortar platoon were killed below where he procariously ended up!

    Stain glass window in the church that depicts its airbourne liberators

    Another little personal story of comrades

    This is one of the actual C47`s that was used in the drops over Normandy 5th/6th June 1944

    Captured and American utilised Ketenkrad

    A mocked up "stick"

  10. #10

    Default Re: A Trip To Normandy

    Unfortunately the Cafe Gondree is now run solely by Arlette Gondree , her sister had the one over the road the dispute was some years ago.

    Veterans do have to pay for drinks and many particulary vets from the Ox and Bucks don't frequent the place due to her treatment of John Howard

    Your right though the one over the road is cheaper we had a great night there last year on 5th June with some French Commandoes who were doing the drop on D Day.

    Did you go in the Cafe in St Mere Eglise that you photographed to see the Dakota tail plane signed by many British and American vets ?
    The gates of hell were opened and we accepted the invitation to enter" 26/880 Lance Sgt, Edward Dyke. 26th Bn Northumberland Fusiliers , ( 3rd Tyneside Irish )

    1st July 1916

    Thought shall be the harder , heart the keener,
    Courage the greater as our strength faileth.
    Here lies our leader ,in the dust of his greatness.
    Who leaves him now , be damned forever.
    We who are old now shall not leave this Battle,
    But lie at his feet , in the dust with our leader

    House Carles at the Battle of Hastings

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