Mouchotte The Finale To The Story

Jan Leeming

Shoreham 2007

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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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.

MOUCHOTTE - the finale to the story

Date: 24th August 2014

If you follow my blog you will be aware of the work, the documentary, the presentation of BOB medals etc. which were part of my project with regard to René Mouchotte.

After the presentation of the BOB Medals to the families of Mouchotte and Lafont, there was a fair amount of publictiy.  This has led to the families of other Free French Pilots, whose names are inscribed on the Battle of Britain Memorial Wall, to ask for the medals of their loved ones.

There were 13 Free French pilots' names inscribed on the Wall.  René Mouchotte and Henry Lafont had their medals presented to their famiiies in the British Ambassador's Residence in Paris in 2012.  Another pilot's family - that of 'Bouqui'  had claimed his medals some years ago so that left 10 with unclaimed medals.  Sadly the families of two pilots have been untraceable so their medals will go to the Museé de La Liberation at Les Invalides in Paris but the other  8 families will receive their medals at a ceremony on the 15th September again at the British Ambassador's Residence in Paris.

 I feel particularly sad that the two families could not be traced particularly because one of the pilots, Charles Guerin was René's closest friend and whom he saw die in front of him. It would have been a telling  moment to have met members of his family.  I am presuming  that he might have been an only child , died without issue, and possibly there were no Uncles and Aunts so the family just came to an end.

Recently, René's nephew sent me the photo below  - the Équipe at Old Sarum in 1940.  Relations of many of those in the photo will be at the Residence on the 15th - it will be a poignant moment for me as I've been working with the Mouchotte story so long I almost feel that I know several of these men.

I have to make a quick dash across the channel because the next day I have the very pleasant task of interviewing the Dean of Canterbury Cathedral in a sort of 'Desert Island Discs' to benefit the St. Nicholas Charity.  It's not going to be an easy job - the Dean is a prolific hymn writer and a most erudite man - so it will be nose to the grindstone as I do my research into his choices of music.

MOUCHOTTE - the finale to the story

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