Thursday, July 27, 2023

SPECIAL SERVICE AT BIGGIN HILL CHAPEL

 SPECIAL SERVICE AT BIGGIN HILL CHAPEL

A few weeks ago, I took most of my research notes on René Mouchotte to the Biggin Hill Museum

Whilst there I met one of the Vergers from the Biggin Hill Chapel - likes so many these days it is now in a combined parish which means that services are not held every Sunday.  Sunday, 27th August is the 80th Anniversary of René's death and I asked if there could be a special Commemorative Service.  At first it didn't seem possible as they already have some special services booked in for commemorations such as Battle of Britain Memorial Day.  Then last week I was informed that the Vicar had graciously agreed.

I've managed to get the French Air Attaché to attend and he will give the Eulogy and read René's Testament in French and English.  I am so pleased.


If you live anywhere near the Chapel at Biggin, do come to the service on Sunday, 27th August at 3.30pm

MY GARDEN

MY GARDEN

Knew nothing about gardening when I bought my house five years ago.  The garden was a builder's site with virtually no earth.  I did use the services of a landscape gardener because a garden is so special to me.   He was about to sell up and think I got a few plants not quite right for a tiny walled garden most of which have been pulled out. Being small I kept to a theme of my favourite colours - blue and yellow.

This was the garden originally - getting better - and today.










Thursday, July 20, 2023

FREE FRENCH SPITFIRE HERO


                                 FREE FRENCH SPITFIRE HERO  


Book Launch of Republication of The Mouchotte Diaries was on Sunday 27th November 2022 at the Battle of Britain Memorial at Capel-le-Ferne   Weather was nothing short of foul.  The mist was so thick you couldn’t even see the Memorial.  However there was a good and enthusiastic turn out for my Presentations at 11.00 am and 3.00 pm in which I told the story of my ‘Search for René Mouchotte’ and showed my short documentary on that search shown on the BBC in 2013.  My 15 year Odyssey has culminated in the Re-publication of René’s dairies which were personal and not written for publication but were deemed to contain the heart and soul of a loyal Frenchman fighting for freedom and published in French in 1949 and republished in English in 1956.

This latest version has a Foreword by Lord Peter Ricketts who was British Ambassador to France at the time of presenting his War medals to the Mouchotte family.

Was very proud that the occasion was deemed important enough for the French Attaché Xavier Rival to attend carrying a copy of his Grandfather’s original version.  He also brought a wreath which he had to lay on the Diorama of the site inside the building - you couldn’t even see the Memorial let alone take a photo of it.

Marie Dominique (René’s niece) and her husband Hubert de Lisle came over from France. Also in attendance was Mark Chapman a man I met 10 years ago during my search.  We’d had a coffee and he gave me a copy of his Father’s memoirs.  Mr. Chapman senior was groundcrew and worked with René Mouchotte of whom he thought most highly - he was strict but kind and generous.  Because of my connection to Pen and Sword, I recommended the work to the company and his memoirs will be published next year.

Another touch of Serendipity was that Hubert de Lisle had met Mr. Chapman senior and knew of correspondece between him and Jacqueline Quentin Mouchotte - René’s sister.  He offered to share his memories with Mark Chapman - so the story hasn’t ended yet. Watch this space ............







Fear of getting old and ill in this country

I've always had a healthy respect and regard for the NHS but it is no longer functioning properly.  We have too large a population, too ...