Day 08 – Friday 3rd June
Remembering Bill Sullivan
An early morning start saw us headed off to Ste Mere Église – or rather the farm complex just to the East at La Fiere to meet up with Elizabeth Sullivan (wife of Veteran Bill Sullivan) & her niece, Denise.
Unfortunately, Bill has succumbed to Alzheimer’s disease & is currently in a retirement home in Montana, but Elizabeth had decided to return this year, accompanied by Denise, to carry on the tradition of a Sullivan trip to Normandy.
To fit in with various opening times, we started by visiting la Ronde-Haye where we saw the plaque that Bill & Elizabeth had presented to M Denis LENESLEY, the Mayor of La Ronde Haye during our visit in 2014 which had been fixed to the wall in the mayor’s office. We then all walked over to visit the old schoolhouse from where both Bill Sullivan & Morris Sheppard had escaped from following their earlier recapture by the Germans.
The flour mill
Next was a visit to La Cour d’Aisy & M & Mme Lenot. At their old flour mill… now well turned into a wonderful home with lots of roses (as commented on in 2014 by Elizabeth). Unfortunately, Mme Lenot, was in Sainte Mere Eglise at the cinema, so we only had a brief stay & Elizabeth & Denise promised to return on Tuesday.
So our final visit was to Créances. Unfortunately, M Henri LEMOIGNE wasn’t in the office, but we were able to have a close-up look at the statuette that Bill had presented in 1995.
During our previous two visits, with Elizabeth, we didn’t have the opportunity to look at the first small shed that Bill, Morris & the others hid in briefly, before being moved to the one in the forest. So, whilst this has now been largely demolished, it was good to be able to show it to Elizabeth & also point out the building that Bill called at on the look-out for help… & next door, the building that was being used by the Germans’ as a field hospital.
Beers in Ste Mère Église
We then decided to head back to their accommodation at La Fiere for a quick cuppa & then on to Ste Mère Église for a beer in the world-famous Stop Bar. There we were joined by Staff Sgt Chang whom Elizabeth & Denise had met last night. It was good to chat with this serving soldier who was an excellent ambassador for the US Military.
We then said our goodbye’s & took a slight detour to find the micro-brewery that had been set up in the town to pick up a couple of beers.
Then it was off to St Lo for some food at the Buffalo Grill & then back to Tony & Jill’s for a final beer or two & a great chat. On the way back, Glyn & I revisited our youth, headbanging away to Rainbow’s “Rising” album!