8 May 2018

Tuesday, 8 May 2018… in villages and towns all across France… groups of citizens will march to their local Memorial to pay their respects…

We always attend… and while the Maire is talking to us, reviewing past horrors… I’m sure we are all hoping that lessons will be learned… that will lead to a better future for everyone. We must surely hope… :thinking:

My neighbours like to see this old photo of my family in London… I was not born… but my Nan, Mum with her first baby in her arms… and numerous aunts and cousins etc are clearly recognizable .


I always attend the one in our village & the ex-pat attendees have grown in number over the years, The UK national anthem is also played after the french one & our presence is acknowledged & appreciated.


Absolutely, Mark… it is a time for folk to get together to show solidarity.

and then, of course, down to the SdF for drinks etc… and listening to the older generation as they reminisce on days gone by… so many poignant stories, so much laughter as well…

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I’ve attended the last two parades and about fifty or sixty turned out apart from standard bearers, local brigades of gendarmes, sapeurs-pompiers, and the oompah band. Although the British component of the commune is around 10% of the total of 2,600 it has surprised me not to encounter another Brit at the ceremony, but it’s possible I’m Brit blind. However, considering that one gets to shake hands with most of those who turn up, I would have liked to greet a compatriot or two, just to show solidarity. The oompah band is very good, with a wide repertoire from stirring to shake-it-all-about. Is there a French phrase for that?

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We are almost getting more UK than French… as the old-guard die off, the youngsters don’t seem to bother as much.

We have no Band, just a CD… no matter… we sing the Marseillaise and the Chant des Partisans with great gusto…

This is what we got up to in 2017… very moving, the whole thing… not sure how today will pan out… I’ve not been asked to read anything, but they do love to spring surprises on me… :open_mouth::wink::relaxed:

Hi Peter… we had a good turnout today… sadly missing one of our regular flag-bearers… but his place is now being taken by a youngster (28) who did very well.

Your Algerian Vet speaks for all those I have met so far… it is still a very sensitive subject…

How sad if you really were the only Brit there… but, it takes all sorts… perhaps next year… :relaxed:

Stella you always fall sunny side up! Wish I had the same talent, it pays in the long run.

Most of the anglais live outside the town, in peripheral villages and hamlets, and it’s quite possible that they are as fully engaged in their local communities as you are. In due course we shall have a better idea of things, it is still early days, and there is no rushing anything in these parts, although there are some sharp-shooters when it comes to bagging a pigeon or two round here. Pow! Pow! :scream::cry::stuck_out_tongue::stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye::stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:

:relaxed::wink: I’ve been like this from my earliest days… and this could be my theme tune…

Missed it this year, I had to drive to Bordeaux and back as because of the grève there was no TER to connect with my daughter’s TGV. For the past 18 years ie since living here, the daughters and I have gone to the monument aux morts on 8th May and 11th November with posies, we raid the garden for flowers to put on it.
I am very excited that my francophile ex-Sorbonne student Scottish grandfather’s SOE file is now available so when I am next in London I shall have a look, they aren’t online yet.


We get almost as many Brits as French to ours on 11 November but just two Brits for 8 May. As I get older it seems to have more significance for me as we live in France because it was freed. I was born just two weeks after VJ day in 1945, a very early baby boomer. My first vist to France was in 55 when cars had to be loaded onto the ferry using a crane and the cay was slung in a net and down into the hold. In Franceyou could still see many war damaged buildings and there was an air of poverty in many places. Still many horses pulling ploughs. If anything i think France changed more since the war than the UK.