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NL75 -An East Coast Perspective

East Coast - 24 Jun 19 Cruising

The organisation of the RNSA\RNVRYC Commemoration Service and the Dinner with the Mayor held special poignancy as the commemoration of D-Day moves from the last memories and eye-witness accounts to a matter of history.

We made very good friends in Ouistreham in 2014 and these were unstinting in their efforts to support NL75 (2019). The Marina shuffled its boats to get all 33 boats alongside.The Church of St Sampson welcomed our Commemoration Service. This became a joint Anglo\French Ceremony during which,at the request of the French, the East Coast Band played and sang Jim Radford's 'The Shores of Normandy' ( ). Wreaths were laid at the Commemorative stain glass window.

'Le Maire', the youthful Romain Bail allowed us to use the beautiful Grange aux Dimes, a 14th Century Tithe Barn, for our formal Dinner. Despite the Mayor's schedule including meeting the 23 Heads of State at the D-Day Ceremonies, he delighted us all by attending the Dinner and delivering a warm and amusing speech (in perfect English), with the central theme being the importance of the historical and continuing relationship of the ports and communities of North France with the UK.

An unforgettable element of our bus tour of the Beaches and Arromanches was the carefully hung pictures of many of the heroes of D-Day close to the point of their individual actions -across all the lanes and streets of North Normandy. This effort and the scholarship involved reminded us each step of the way that we are a 'fortunate generation'.

The Ports of Cherbourg, St Vaast, Port aux Bassins, Ouistreham, Honfleur, Le Havre, Fecamp, Dieppe, Boulogne and Calais all began their season with an early visit from the RNSA and RNVR YC. That can't be bad.

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