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Pegasus Bridge- Normandy


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Desert Rat

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Hello, This has reminded me of the many times I have visited Normandy and the fantastic "Pegasus Museum"......I have visited it every year since the last 10 years...such a wonderful place to visit and Remember!

As you know very near-by the bridge their are the memorials to the three British gliders, that finally took the bridge, sadly Sgt  Brotheridge was shot and killed on the bridge while advancing to the enemy gun emplacement. But the Cafe is still there and has thousands of veterans (only a few who are left) to visit and meet Madame Gondree, who I have met her many times. Here are a few images taken when I visited----

All Images are the Sole Copyright of Ian R. Bridle.....If you use them please e-mail me for use.....Thank You!

To ALL the British and American, Canadian and many more from across the World (and my Dad who landed in the afternoon on 6th June 1944).....We THANK- YOU - Sincerely for all that they faced, suffered and those killed.....!!!

Desert Rat

Many more images and accounts to follow....Thank You All..!

 

 

 

 

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Davejb

The Gondree,s died , Georges died in April 1969, Therese in July 1984, one of there girls Arlette now runs the place, she was 5 years old when the Paras liberated the Cafe, A mate of mine who was a Para in 3 Para met Therese a year or to before she died, and both he and I went there every year and had lunch out side and Arlette would always give us a welcome, she is a lovely lady

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Desert Rat

Hello Dave, 

Yes you are right, Thank you.....but I met, it must have been Arlette, but I did visit in 1986 and met the owner then......Thanks for your update

Best to you both...Ian

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Baghdadbilly

Spent many an hour when younger lifted onto the bar by Mde Gondree who loved touching my blonde hair ( something about good luck) and force feeding me chocolate biscuits lol. From about 5-10 years old she used to get the relic sten and bren gun down of the wall for me to play with, on several occasions had the pleasure of meeting major Howard too who always had the time to take me over the bridge and talk through the attack even though I was so young he was such a gentleman.

Edited by Baghdadbilly
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Davejb

Thats marvellous, what a time you must have had as a kid, and to meet Major Howard as well, the only one I met was Richard Todd and that was by luck, he was walking over the bridge with a a few other people and I was walking towards him, I thought that bloke looks like Richard Todd and like an idiot I said"Your Richard Todd" He smiled and said " I am " And  he asked my name, I told him and he said, " Pleased to meet you David" I was well pleased, and he smiled and walked away 

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Baghdadbilly

I think one of the most unassuming guys I was lucky enough to meet when I was a youngster in 1984 I was 9yrs old and we went over for the 40th anniversary ( we used to go over 8/9 times a year more sometimes) we were staying in Bayeaux. And one night ended up in a small bar and there was just an old gentleman sat at the bar with a tunic and NVA blazer badge. The guy just sat alone quiet as a mouse after a few beers we went to talk to him, and after he had a few more calvados he explained he was one of the officers who was on the x craft off ouisterham from June the 4th until the 7th clearing mines then later marking the approach.A very quiet, soft spoken humble gentleman.

 A generation lost. 

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Baghdadbilly

Another time we were at Bovingdon tank museum I was around 10years old. They had a sectioned AVRE Churchill they had recovered from behind Gold beach I think it was in Normandy. Off course anything Normandy wise always made my Willie twitch !, and we were stood looking in it when this little old lady came over and offered me a sweet.

  “ Do you like tanks?” She asked and I explained yes and fascinated with anything Dday related “oh just a second luv “. She came back pulling an elderly gentleman who obviously had false legs and was on crutches....

 “ This was my husband’s tank !”.

  I was absolutely gob smacked of all the times and places to be there at the same time as the actual driver of that tank !. Priceless 🙏🏻

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Desert Rat
Posted (edited)

Hello Paul,

What a brilliant experience for you....to actually meet the original Hero who was in that actual tank on D- Day......Yes a moment you will Not forget......Lucky Man!

Best to you and thanks for the account.....Desert Rat/ Ian

3 images of British Tanks as Memorials, they are scattered all over Normandy......Some Memorials are isolated and far inland.....took me a lot of driving around to find some of these, but well worth my time and searching (Images Sole Copyright of Ian R. Bridle)

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Edited by Desert Rat
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There is a Tiger Tank at Vimoutiers on the side of the road, It was left by its crew when it ran out fuel, and blown up , the locals , some time after the War, had it moved to where it stands now, its a big bugger and I,ve sat on the top but getting down  is a bit of a drop

 

 

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