Following in the Footsteps of Heroes

At the cemeteryThe five Dorst Learning Centres joined together for a trip to France to follow in the path of the D Day landings.True to history we left Portsmouth on the night of May 9th, having had information that the earlier cross Channel sailing had been cancelled and that a force 9 gale was predicted for our night crossing.

As it was raining horizontal bars and the chains between the parking bollards were blowing 90 degrees to the left, we thought we’d have a rough night’s crossing. Our ferry was palacial and deserted. True, the boat tossed, turned and twisted all night long, with ‘watch the bottle roll across the floor’ being a popular game but we all managed to sleep on the floor (a useful hint for future travellers) and no-one was sick!!!

A 5.30 am British time breakfast saw us up and ready to go. From then on the day went smoothly. It was an excellent day, well planned and full of interesting facts and sights.

Our leader, Allan Wood of the Compass Learning Centre, had thought out every eventuality. We wandered through endless rows of crosses, scrambled on beaches and stopped in tiny lanes as he made them all come alive with the dramatic events of 60 years ago.

We had passport photos of some of the dead soldiers, and Allan was able to explain about their actions: from the original American brothers, who were the inspiration for the film ‘Saving Private Ryan’ to a German tank commander who, single-handedly, destroyed 30 odd British tanks and put back the capture of Caen by 3 months.

It might have been a whistle stop tour but it was never boring.

The ferry trip home was quiet, with people sleeping in spite of the rough weather.

It was well worth taking part in and all of us who went would thoroughly recommend it to you!

Written on Tuesday, May 15th, 2007 at 4:14 pm by Julia. Filed under News.

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