top cx logo
cx logo
Explorearrow down
search icon

British role in liberation

Connexion reader Catherine Piper explains how there has been a misunderstanding over British role in liberation.

THE column by Peter Forster in your D-Day commemorative issue (Connexion, June) was very timely but printing it in English in an English-language newspaper was perhaps “preaching to the converted”.

I have just returned from a visit to Ouistreham in Normandy with my husband who is a veteran submariner and a member of the France-Nord branch of the Royal Naval Association. We were supporting our standard bearers who perform a wreath-laying ceremony every June 6 and Armistice Day at the memorial for the hundreds of British and several Free French Commandos who arrived there.

Our reception there is always warm and friendly and my husband, now 92 years old with 11 campaign medals, is interviewed, photographed and thanked frequently for their liberation by bystanders.

However his return to Saint Malo in Brittany was a different matter and his appearance was viewed with an amused lack of comprehension.
Did they think he was in fancy dress? People in most parts of Brittany seem not to understand that the Americans did not win the war – although they were assigned to the liberation of Brittany while British troops with French, Canadian, American and other nationalities continued the fight in Normandy and throughout France into Germany for several months longer and sustained heavy losses to complete the liberation of France, as well as Belgium and Holland.
Would it be possible to translate Mr Forster’s column into French and have it published in French newspapers?

Catherine Piper, By email

Resident or second-home owner in France?
Benefit from our daily digest of headlines and how-to's to help you make the most of life in France
By joining the newsletter, you agree to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy
See more popular articles
The Connexion Help Guides
featured helpguide
Income Tax in France 2023 (for 2022 income)*
Featured Help Guide
- Primarily aimed at Britons, covers pensions, rent, ISAs, shares, savings and interest - but also contains significant general information pertinent to readers of other nationalities - Overview of online declarations + step-by-step guide to the French printed forms - Includes updates given automatically after this year's site opened
Get news, views and information from France