Ren Mouchotte Top Hit Online

Jan Leeming

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Shoreham Airshow 2007
Me looking brave before taking to the air (and the wing) of the plane. Wow, it was cold !! But the whole experience was totally exhilarating.



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Jan's Blog

Computers and the internet are amazing things. One of my concerns with putting together this site was that it could remain current, yet with all my travelling I've often much to say, but little time to say it. Years ago when reading the news it would take me days on end to reply to the kind letters people sent. Now, with the magic of the modern age, I can keep you up to date with what I'm doing and other events in my life.

RENÉ MOUCHOTTE - Top hit online

Date: 29th January 2013


The producer was kind enough to share with me the hits on the BBCNewsonline site – René was the top hit all morning and top of the day with 109,070 hits – Fantastic

It was difficult for me to judge ‘Searching for René’ – I’m too close to it – but there were only a couple of pieces with which I was uncomfortable.

My guests all praised it – well they had to didn’t they, they were drinking my champagne! But they all said it was obvious that so much had been left out which indeed it had. In fact I think Matthew Wheeler worked a small miracle because he definitely had enough film and information from me to easily fill a very full half hour.  Perhaps - fingers crossed.

I’ve had some very interesting feedback through my website.

One man said he would be buying his first book for 20 years – another has already ordered Réne’s diaries and I was contacted by a man whose mother and father knew René well – so I’m going to meet them and also take delivery of photos they have which all adds to the ongoing René story.

Wing Cdr. Tom Neil and his wife Eileen, whom I am now fortunate to call friends, rang me after the programme and Eileen said how wonderful if was to see film of The Ball at the Grosvenor House Hotel. ‘I was there and it brought back such happy memories’ – she said. Tom has another book coming out in February so when I have more details I’ll let you know.

Patrick Tootal who runs the Battle of Britain Memorial Trust has already had a request for a sponsorship form for the Wall of Remembrance. I’m sure the site will attract many more visitors. Entry is free – so if you visit please spend a few pounds in the café or leave a donation. We have to raise over £3 million in a very short time for the new Wing – a permanent testament to the Few and to WW2.

I wish there had been time to relate in the film the tragic way René’s mother learned of his death, the way he communicated without words to let her know he was still alive. It would have been great for you to have seen the official Medal Presentation in the British Ambassador’s Residence last July and to have seen Sir Stephen Dalton acknowledge the late delivery of the BOB Medals to Mouchotte and Lafont when he gave his address on Battle of Britain Memorial Day also in July. It came as a surprise to me and I was highly delighted.

Anyway, enough of that. There really is so much more material but I am immensely grateful to Linda Bell and the BBC for making a ‘dream come true’ not only for me but also for the satisfaction it gave the Mouchotte family and Jacqueline Quentin Mouchotte that at long last there was a documentary made in tribute to her brother.
I understand that she’d had many approaches over the years and none had come to anything so she was duly cautious when my letter was found in the tomb. I thank my lucky stars that she overcame her reluctance and agreed to meet me.

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