Sunday was Deportation Day, known as Journée du Souvenir de la Déportation in France. It takes place on the last Sunday of April every year and remembers those who were deported in World War 2. My neighbour’s mother was taken away when he was 2 years old, denounced by someone as she had sheltered some allied pilots whose plane crashed on the local beach. She died in Ravenbrock (Ravensbruck). One of his brothers was hidden in one of our barns, which is now Les Etables, where we also found a Lee Enfield rifle Mk2 which had been used by the resistance during the war.
Playing the Chant des Partisans and the Marseillaise
Today’s ceremony was fun, as we did a little practice before, and when we arrived at the Mairie there was nobody there (we were late). We heard someone playing the last post in the distance so rushed to the memorial plaque (there are 2 at Plestin in different places so we have to play everything twice). We arrived just at the moment we were due to play. Rodger (the boss) gave his excuses (which is that he doesn’t look at his watch) and we played our usual numbers – “Chant des Marais” and “Chant des Partisans”, plus the ”Marseillaise”.
Then it’s down the hill and a repeat of the tunes, and into the old “salles des fetes” for refreshments. The mayor was quite chatty: it seems if “Hollande” gets elected he will give us “étrangers” a vote if we have lived for more than 10 years in France, which would be nice as at the moment I can only vote in the municipal and European elections.