Day 9 – Wednesday 7th June
A walk around Estry
This morning we spent time looking around the village of Estry as Colin wanted to take photographs of the locations of damaged and destroyed Churchill tanks following the battle to liberate the village as he needed this for his war gaming group and his military history society.
We returned back to Tony and Jill’s for a quick beer with Tony before then heading back to check out the location of the “intermediate barn”.
More searching for farms
The first two locations that we found, although they had looked quite suitable on maps and aerial photographs, didn’t match the descriptions in Ray Elledge’s manuscript.
However driving through a little hamlet called Black Night we are spotted an interesting group of buildings. Both of us being Deep Purple fans, we found this amusing & wondered if this was “a sign”!
So we decided to turn the car round, park & have a look.
German barbed wire – were we getting close?
One of the first things that we noticed was that the was some German barbed wire still in place over the windows of a barn, and when speaking in a mix of broken French and English with both the farmer and his wife, it appeared that in the garage where the barbed wire was covering the window was used to hold prisoners by the Germans! In his manuscript, Ray mentions a window in the barn that they were going to with barbed wire covering the windows.
This is something that we will be following up because the layout of the buildings ties in quite well (and better than others that we had found) with the one given in the Manuscript.
Off to Tilly sur Seulles
We were quite pleased with this result and so we then headed off to meet up with Stéphane Jacquet at the ceremony at Tilly sur Seulles, arriving about halfway through.
We then had the opportunity to meet up with some veterans & have a chat with them, including one who’d been in the 2nd Essex Battalion & recalled there being 3 “Smith”s in the Battalion. Unfortunately, he couldn’t recall their first names.
We followed this with a beer with Stéphane, but then realised that we were now going to be late for our meal back at Tony and Jill’s! Fortunately, they now know us well enough net to understand that sometimes research takes over!
After our meal, we shared with them the aerial photographs of their local village of Estry