I was born and raised in Caen, the Capital of Lower Normandy. I also lived 17 years in England: London, Leamington and for 12 years I was literally "sent to Coventry", a town in the Midlands. It is during my time living there where I learnt English.
All my family is from Normandy and were in the Caen area during the two and half months in 1944 we now call "The Battle of Normandy." I grew up learning from a generation who survived those events and understood the impact it had one their lives. I vividly remember as a kid at family gatherings, listening for hours to my Grandparents, Uncles and Aunties talking about the German occupation, the bombings, the suffering and at long last the liberation and newly restored freedom. I also have a Spanish Grandfather who was a Republican and played his part helping France, by just fighting the Germans in the Spanish Civil War of 1936-1939! He ended up in France in 1939 as a refugee and was eventually taken prisoner by the Germans, being one of the slave laborers building the now famous, or should I say infamous Atlantic Wall.
As a young man, I was always interested in the military aspect of history, but getting older and more mature I'm now much more interested in the personal experiences of the soldiers and civilians. A personal memoir tells you so much more than a military history about what the people endured.