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French students stay in contact with WWII veterans during lockdown

Photo of Bill Ridgeway by Associated Press
Photo of Bill Ridgeway by Associated Press

Pupils from College St. Louis in Cabourg have remained in contact with WWII veterans during lockdown by regularly emailing snippets of their day-to-day life via their "Lockdown Chronicles".

The pupils also posted over 200 post cards and letters to the Taxi Charity, to forward onto the veterans.

The special bonds between the pupils and the veterans were first formed during our Back To The Beaches trip in June 2017.

The following year, the children, who were studying World War II, visited London, and we arranged a meeting at the Imperial War Museum, for them to hear the veterans recount their wartime experiences.

In March 2019, we took three veterans to Cabourg to participate in Q&A sessions with the College St. Louis students.

And during our D-Day 75 visit in June 2019, veterans visited the pupils hugely impressive Kakemonos Exhibition, a collection of banners which portrayed the veterans’ stories.

The story of the friendship between the veterans and these Normandy schoolchildren was picked up by Associated Press and appeared in a large number of news outlets and also the 8 May VE75 commemorative issue of the i newspaper.

For the last three years, the Cabourg students have joined the veterans for the commemorative service at Pegasus Bridge Museum on 5 June. This year, with the help of their schoolteacher Mayeul Mace and interpreter Nathalie Varniere, they held an online ceremony instead.

Thanks to the wonders of modern technology, many of the veterans who travel with us each year to Normandy were able to watch the whole event and afterwards say a few words to their delighted hosts.

The Taxi Charity hopes it will have sufficient funds to return as many of our remaining World War II veterans as possible to the Netherlands and France for a final visit next year. We know our Dutch and French friends will give them a warm welcome, as they always do.

#CollegeSaintLouis #Cabourg


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