Ren Mouchotte Raf Hq Gibraltar

Jan Leeming

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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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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 - RAF HQ - GIBRALTAR

Date: 12th June 2013

RENÉ MOUCHOTTE – RAF HQ – GIBRALTAR

I’ve just had confirmation that the RAF HQ in Gibraltar will be renamed after René Mouchotte at the Battle of Britain Memorial Weekend in mid September and they’ve invited me to attend the dedication etc.

I know that the event has now been ‘tweeted’ so I’m free to talk about it.

This has come about indirectly because of my research into René. Two years ago I visited Biggin Hill Chapel to see the Reredos bearing René’s name and also the beautiful illuminated Book of Remembrance in which his name is inscribed. On the Sunday closest to the date, the names of those killed on that day are read out at the Morning Service.

After my Chapel visit, I went across the road to the Married  Quarters which I understood to be in private ownership. As I was taking a photo of ‘Mouchotte Close’ I was ‘accosted’ by a gentleman out for a jog. He wanted to know what I was doing on MOD property (part of the estate is still MOD and the remainder private). When I explained that I was doing research into René he kindly invited me in for a cup of tea much to his poor wife’s surprise. He told me that all we came to live on the ‘patch’ were given the copy of René’s diaries which they read, signed and passed on.

I kept him up to speed with progression on my documentary and then he was posted to Gibraltar. In July 1940, after René and his friends ‘appropriated’ the Commandant’s plane in Oran in North Africa, they flew to Gibraltar where they were very warmly welcomed and hosted for a couple of days before they boarded the President Houduce and set sail for England.

Col. Powell has kept in touch and recently told me that it had been decided to rename the RAF HQ in René’s honour. I cannot tell you how thrilled I am for the honour being accorded René and at being invited across for the celebrations. And there is just a chance that two of René’s nieces and their husbands might be able to attend.
 

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