Shock: French do a Good Job on D Day

Well I spent the weekend in Normandy drinking for NATO and getting sunburnt. I am slightly stunnned to say, that the French actually did a bloody good job of the celebrations.

Huge amounts of bunting all over the place, including the Union Jack, a genuine effort to speak English whenever they could, and the Museum at Pegasus Bridge actually gave free entry on 6th june. The firework display to mark the landing of the first glider of D Coy 2 OX & BUCKS lasted about 25 minutes and was very impressive.

The memorials I saw where immaculate and there was, for the first time, a com plete absence of grudginess from the French. It has actually made me reconsider my attitude to them.

Loads of Paras, from all three battalions, the entire Army Air Corps ( it seemed ) , Engineers a plenty. but shockingly few RGJ. Six buglers was the only uniform presence I saw, plus a few blokes in civvies wearing berets.

Anyway. Well done the French.

Never thought I'd post THAT
I was also there for the D-Day weekend. The local people were fantastic - lots of free booze for the Vets, Union Jacks everywhere, etc but the general organisations was crap. At the parades I attended there was no seating, no shade and not enough facilities for the old and bold. The French political types (and our beloved el President) were too busy getting their faces in the media to care about what was really going on in the background.
The old boys who I managed to speak to felt that they had been badly let down and that they were being pushed onto the periphery of the events.
Have had dealings with a number of vets and their wives/families since the journey back who felt they had been totally neglected.

The 'ticket' procedure to gain access to the beaches had not been explained. Many simply followed coaches in cars, one man and his wife had been told that would be fine after a 30 minute debate, only to arrive at the beach to be turned back...
It seemed the person they had been arguing felt this was the way to get rid of them.

The wife of one vet, who herself was awarded an OBE after the war as part of a group of nurses who volunteered to go in after the forces to help with the injured and came under fire, fainted after standing for some 4 hours, while the dignitaries sat down...

It seemed to slip the attention of those organising it that elderly peeps tend to need to take vast amounts of drugs and have to have some thought put into this, also a couple had to drive there father for almost 45 minutes to find a toilet big enough for her to change his colostomy bag...

Need I go on?

How about the veterans pin which really has got my goat at the moment!
kennys-go-nad said:
I remember the 50th, the MOD had to pay for land. that was being used as the DZ. I wonder if it was rented out this time :roll:
Kenny's Nut:
As far as I am aware, we had to pay for crop damage and to turn off the local power grid. Something like 5k IIRC.

However, when this is compared against the total budget of approx 150k, it is quite a big deal. Comparing this with the FR budget of about 200 M Euros, and the US 38 M Dollars....

Hence why there were only VIP seats for the various UK organised ceremonies...

Bit of a poor show really. However, we got them out of Arromanches much earlier than the last time thank goodness. Shame that Bush managed to screw up the whole day's timings. It was great to chat to some of the vets though, puts it all in perspective. Almost 80 years old one of them and had been on the go since 0600 hrs. Was still going strong (and on his umpteenth beer) in Arromanches trying to avoid going back to his bus and hotel at 2245 hrs. Needed to be steered back to his bus!

The French did, however, pull it out of the bag for the majority of the events. They were more than helpful even with our interference.
:lol: They seem to have done quite a good job in Portugal, too. Allez les Bleus! Certainly silenced those supercilious ITV commentators. :lol:

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