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June 1940 French troops in Bournemouth


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During the war my mum was teacher in a Bournemouth school and following

Dunkirk a number of French troops who had been rescued from the beaches were

given temporary accommodation at her school. Mum was always keen on photography

with her Box Brownie and took many pictures of these chaps and even wrote their

names and place of origin on the back of some of them.
I came across these

photos the other day and wonder if their descendants would like a copy. I was

able recently to pass on some old radio recordings I made when working 40+ years ago in the

evenings and weekends for Hospital Broadcasts in Southampton to the children of

those involved at the time and I know that these were appreciated by their

offspring so I wonder if I can do the same with these photographs. Not much to

go on just the soldier's name and the name of the town they came from but I

wonder if anyone knows of an organisation I can contact so that these images of

maybe dad or grandpa could find their way to the family. Some of these chaps

would have been lost when we went into France following D-day and it seems a

shame not to try and find those that might welcome a picture of a long lost

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Would one course of action be to contact the Mairie where they lived in 1940 - people might remember the family and where they went if they had moved away.

What an interesting website (link in original posting). I found the information on rest centres and the aftermath if you were bombed out most interesting.


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Hello Paul and yes good idea and I have sent emails to those mairies with relevant photos attached where I could find an email address, not all have one. The site is interesting and it shows that my old school, Taunton's, were evacuated there and I remember my form master going on about an old boy called Benny Hill. I spent the first year or two of my life in Bournemouth during the war. My mum told me that she had me in her classroom, visual aid, until she stopped teaching. She was also a firewarden and would you believe wandered about wearing a tin hat with a bucket of sand looking for fire bombs to put out! My dad, who served in the R.A.F, said that Bournemouth got clobbered by the Luftwaffe as the bombers were being chased out to sea that way by our chaps and dropped their bombs to lighten the load...................................JR 
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I am reading a book about the Dunquerque evacuation at the moment, the French strategy during the German invasion was somewhat lacking to say the least, I did not know that the allied forces (the British Expeditionary Force) were under the command of the French general(s).

A very interesting story and I can see why some French believe that they were left in the lurch.

I have also just read a great book on General De Gaulles time in London as leader of the Free French, it focussed particularly on his radio messages via the BBC, both he and Winston Churchill were great orators, this book has taught me a lot about french post war politics and the social system that we know today.

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