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Pics : Normandy relics still out there.....

Discussion in 'Battlefield Relics' started by Martin Bull, Oct 7, 2018.

  1. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr

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    On holiday in Normandy a year ago, it was interesting to see that some battlefield relics can still be found. Driving down the old Caen/Villers-Bocage road we spotted a 'Brocante' (junkshop) which, as always, resulted in a sudden halt. Just a big wooden shed with all sorts of stuff - my eye immediately being taken by this trailer...

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    My wife speaks some French and asked the guy what it was ; a typical Gallic shrug and he said 'It's just from a farmyard'. The wheels were a giveaway - they're from a British or Canadian Carrier....obviously 'liberated' by a Normandy farmer.

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    Complete with date....

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    Sadly, the home-made trailer was far too big and heavy to fit into a little Renault hatchback ( plus, my wife would have killed me ) so all I took away were photos. But it was nice to see that original 'stuff' is still out there to be found if you keep your eyes open......
     
  2. jagdpanther44

    jagdpanther44 Battlefield wanderer

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    I'm quite sure there is also a plethora of interesting items still tucked away in the barns and farmyards of Normandy and I've often thought about stopping to ask at some of the more rural farms.

    But first I must improve my grasp of the French language as knocking on a farmers door and asking "alrite mate got any gear from the war you want to flog?" would no doubt be met with a very confused look or the farmer running for his shotgun!
     
    George Patton likes this.
  3. KJ Jr

    KJ Jr Well-Known Member

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    Only one way to find out. Give it a shot, make sure you film it btw, and see how it goes. :D
     
  4. George Patton

    George Patton Canadian Refugee

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    I say give it a try. If it ends poorly and you end up starting a skirmish with the farmers, I'll send the big green vehicle over there and we'll launch a repeat of Operation Cobra. That'll teach them to impede eccentric militaria collectors!
     
    jagdpanther44 likes this.
  5. jagdpanther44

    jagdpanther44 Battlefield wanderer

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    I'll remember to wear my go pro on its headband when I'm knocking on the doors. That will free my hands up for when I have to vault over fences and hedges to escape irate farmers. :rolleyes:
     
  6. jagdpanther44

    jagdpanther44 Battlefield wanderer

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    I reckon we could form a small army from our forum members and your vehicles, Alan. I claim dibs on being the official driver of your Jeep! :D
     
  7. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr

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    Actually, you don't have to brave irate farmers......another highlight of the same vacation was a 'Vide Grenier' ( literally, 'empty attic' or local car boot sale to us ). These happen every weekend in France and are always woth a look. This one took place in the grounds of the chateau at Baron-sur-Odon ( the place where Wittmann was famously radio-interviewed immediately after his Villers-Bocage action ). It's about four miles from V-B.

    Anyhow, the sale was typical with lots of household stuff, old toys and suchlike.....

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    My wife was buying some cups and saucers from a friendly couple who were apparently selling some things from the cottage of their recently-deceased grandfather. I spotted three shellcases - 2 x 37mm M16 shellcases ( such as used in the Stuart/Honey light tank ) and a cut-down, engraved British 6 Pr 7cwt - the 6 Pr anti-tank. And - oh, joy ! - the date engraved under the image of 'Liberty' on the shellcase is '12-13-14 Juin 1944'.

    The battle of Villers-Bocage.

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    I asked what they knew about them - they just said that they'd 'always' been in the fireplace of their grand-dad's cottage, not far away.

    Combien ? 20 Euros for the three. No, I didn't haggle !

    That 6-Pr is now a treasured memento on my desk.......
     
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