Wednesday, August 2, 2023

SEARCHING FOR RENÉ



 'SEARCHING FOR RENÉ'

I shall be giving  my illustrated talk on the Free French Pilot I sponsored on the Sir Christopher Foxley Norris Wall of Remembrance at Capel-le-Frerne.

There will be a special service at the Biggin Hill RAF Chapel at 3.30 pm on Sunday, 27th August - the 80th Anniversary of the death of René Mouchotte, killed on the Éperlecques Raid on that date.

It is therefore appropriate to be giving my talk the day before at the Chapel starting at 3.30pm.  Ticket sales will be donated to the Chapel funds.

René's diaries, published in French in 1949 and in English in 1956 are a wonderful read.  They were his  recollections and only intended for his personal use.  After his death, his mother wondered what to do with them and was advised by a Resistance leader that they 'contained the heart and soul of a Fighter for the freedom of France' and should be published - and so they were.  I've read them 7 times and each time find them incredibly moving.  He tells of the deaths of his comrades; companionship; he writes of the lighter side of war; how he and 5 others escaped from a locked down airfield in Oran, North Africa, not knowing the propeller had been put out of true (hair-raising) and managed to fly and land safely in Gibraltar: he writes with humour.  He eventually formed an all French Squadron.

If you would like to read a more comprehensive account of my 'Searching for René' use this link 

 SEARCHING FOR RENÉ - Pen & Sword Blog (pen-and-sword.co.uk)

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