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From Utah Beach to the Battle of the Bulge – T.J.Whatley III & the 8th FAOB

Betty Bartos is the daughter of Thomas Jefferson Whatley III. Betty has sent us her father’s collection of photographs from his time with the 8th Field Artillery Observation Battalion, in WW2 Europe 1944 to 1945. She says “He was born March 25, 1923 in Dothan, Alabama. He volunteered for active duty December 8, 1941”.  T.J.Watley…

Maps of the north Normandy coast, from 1678 – midweek picture post!

This collection of beautiful old maps of the Normandy coast reveal a lot more than a changing shoreline; each is topped with a wide view of the town. Close-up they are filled with tiny accurate details, giving us a wonderful snapshot of a long lost world.  Often church towers look familiar, while windmills no longer…

Honfleur at the end of the 19th century, in photochrom

Taken between between 1890 and 1900, these photochrom images of Honfleur are at once familiar yet remote. We recognise buildings but can only envy the photographer who saw a steam ship dock by the Chenin Blanc hotel, or took a horse drawn carriage ride past la Lieutenance. Photochrom, a method of adding colour to black and…

D-Day +365 (part 1) – midweek post

‘Now Utah beach is a quiet expanse of peaceful and monotonous sand.  An abandoned, crippled landing craft, baking in the sun, is an invasion souvenir.’ YANK magazine, 8 July 1945  First printed in Yanks magazine on 8 July 1945, this is part 1 of a visit to Omaha and Utah Normandy beaches written while the memory…

The painter of pretty Normandy; Louis Aston Knight – Picture post!

There are fashions in art, and carefully laid out histories that link artistic movements together. And then there are the other paintings. Pretty things, that people hang on wall and like to look at without thinking very much.  Except perhaps to remember clear rivers touched by softly draping willow branches, on warm summer evenings.  Or…

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