Normandy June 2015 – Day#08 Sunday 7th June

North, south  or both

Another hot day dawned. Given what the weather forecast had been for this week when we were back in the UK, we had been exceptionally lucky with, largely, sunny hot days…

Today, we were heading south to visit M Michel Filoche who, you may recall, owned the farm where Flt Lt John Harder had crashed his Spitfire, however, before heading south we went north. The reason for this is that today was also the day that the Annual Tilly Book Fair or “Salon du Livre de la Battaille de Normandie” is on. As this is organised by our friend Stéphane Jacquet & is run to help raise awareness of and funds for the museum at Tilly sur Seulles, we decided to head there first

At the Salon du Livre – Tilly sur Seulles

Despite the relatively early hour that we arrived at the book fair, it was fairly busy with the usual array of (largely) second world war books available. It never ceases to amaze me at the huge range of titles that continue to be written & the level of research that goes into them.  Needless to say, I purchased one – Stéphane’s latest part one of a two-volume book on Operation BLUECOAT. The first volume covers the activities of XXX Corps; his next one will feature VIII Corps (Muir Findlay has written the forward to it following an introduction to Stéphane from me two years ago.)

There were lots of books that, had I the spare funds, I’d have willingly purchased… including some absolute jems, especially as they don’t seem to cost as much in Euros!

We saw the 12th SS veteran of 5th June there signing books – not sure whether he’d written the book, or that it was about the 12th SS Panzer Division. We also met up, again, with Eain & Muir Findlay for a brief chat and, just as we were leaving, Mary & Jack Treadgold arrived!

Anyway, having a two hour journey ahead of ourselves, we decided that it was about time to make tracks south

At Chez Filoche

Michel hadn’t been able to attend the 70th Celebrations last year, so we decided to drive down and see him…

When we arrived, he’d arranged for us to be joined by some of his family and also Gilbert Lechat and his wife Danielle – Gilbert is a local journalist and Danielle did a fantastic job of translating.

Following the occasional glass of cider, and a photo-shoot, Michel took us to see the harvest of crayfish that he was collecting in his two fishing lakes.

Then, unfortunately, it was time to leave with a promise to return – Michel has offered to let us dig up the field where John Harder’s Spitfire crashed to see if we can find any more… but I’m not sure whether that was to save him the job of ploughing the land as we had to wait until after the harvest!!

Heading back, we stopped for a look around the Roman ruins at Jublains. Unfortunately, we didn’t have the time to visit the baths or amphitheatre, but we did have a look around the Temple on the outskirts of the village. Having checked this out since returning home, it’s a far larger layout than we thought so I suspect that we will return

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