Monday, August 18, 2014

The voyage of the Zeemanshoop from Scheveningen to England on the 14-5 May 1940

A story by Bill Forster: Holywell House Publishing Co
Scheveningen is one of the eight administrative districts of The Hague and is best known today as a modern seaside resort with a long sandy beach, an esplanade, a pier, and a lighthouse which is especially popular with visitors from Germany. It had always been a fishing village (its coat of arms consists of three crowned herrings) but the fishing boats were beach launched until the large harbour was constructed in 1904. On the 8 May 2014 I visited Scheveningen to see the place where where the voyage of the "Zeemanshoop" began. The present day lifeboat is moored in the same position as the "Zeemanshoop" in 1940 and it was easy to imagine the scene as the students hijacked the lifeboat and set off for England with 46 men and women aboard in calm weather but overladen and with a temperamental and unfamiliar engine... Lire... More on this piece.
- Scheveningen Holland
- The Voyage of the Zeemanshoop Tuesday 14 - Wednesday 15 May 1940
- The story of the Zeemanshoop

Sunday, August 17, 2014

News from Bill Forster | Holywell House Publishing

I am sad to have to tell you that I have no more copies left of the book I published about HMS VENOMOUS, the V & W Class destroyer on which my father served. It received wonderful reviews in the naval and maritime press and was bought by naval enthusiasts as well as the families of the men who served on her.

But my greatest pleasure was receiving an order from the son or daughter of one of those who served HMS VENOMOUS. And many of them contributed anecdotes or photographs to my web site about HMS VENOMOUS: 

 Look under "WHAT"S NEW" for recent additions. These include the life of the last surviving officer on VENOMOUS when he was sent with HMS VALOROUS to accept the surrender of German naval forces in Kristiansand, Norway.

 Miroslav Lansky was only 18 when he served on HMS NORFOLK at the Battle of the North Cape when the German battle cruiser SCHARNHORST was sunk and not much older when as a Midshipman he was torpedoed on HMS CASSANDRA near Murmansk. He became a translator working for the UN in New york, Bangkok and Geneva and died in Geneva on the 15 July. Read about his life on this page: 

And I have just completed telling the story of Lt Cdr Derek Lawson RNVR illustrated with the wonderful photographs he took on his Leica while serving on HMS BEVERLEY, HMS MIDDLETON and HMS VENOMOUS. See here. 

I have published the full account of events at Kristiansand in May 1945 written by Lt J.A.J. Dennis RN, the CO of HMS VALOROUS, which is more detailed than the account written by Lt Cdr Guyon Prideaux RNVR, the CO of HMS VENOMOUS. See here. 

Although I no longer have copies of HARD FOUGHT SHIP you may be able to find copies in the book chain between publisher and reader by searching the Internet [link here] and I do hope you will continue to send me material for adding to the web site. Which may eventually find its way into a future edition.

Histoire économique de l'Angleterre, de l'Allemagne, des Etats-Unis et de la France 1890-1900

Cette histoire écrite par Edmond Théry directeur de "l'économiste européen" et publiée en 1902, est particulièrement intéressante car elle permet de comprendre bien des aspects de la situation actuelle plus de 100 ans après. Livre digitalisé par Google. Edmond Théry, un économiste et statisticien français 1854-1925 qui mérite d'être redécouvert aujourd'hui; il est aussi l'auteur du "Péril Jaune".
Lien vers le livre complet 425 pages).

Recollection of war time events 1939-1945
by Sidney West a distant relative of my family


The Trauma of War. Three Cousins and the West family (1939 - 1945) 

Three cousins:


Robert West: 25th March 1921 - 2nd February 1990
Allen Ratcliffe: 24th April 1921 - 4th June 1945
Jacques Fontaine: 12 th February 1921 - 28th December 1989

The following is the tale of three cousins all born in the early months of 1921, only 2 months separated them from their date of birth. This was quietly celebrated by the extended family of the Dauchart, all residents of Calais (France). The proud mothers were Amélie Dauchart, Marguerite Prud'Homme (niece) and Angélina Dauchart (ma tante Baby).
In the early days the cousins lived within walking distance of each other, not meeting all that often, but there was a maternal bond, which gave a sound respect for each other. So by 1940, Jacques, Allen and Robert, now having reached the age of 19, a sudden separation took place! This separation affected their parents also. For Jacque's parents, George and Amélie Fontaine, similarly Allen's parents, Harold and Angélina Ratcliffe, and Robert's parents, Frederic and Marguerite West.
The Second World War was beginning to take effect. The German forces under its Nazi ideology were marching westward and northern France was suffering under the tragic occupation of its territory. The lives of many people were torn apart and in the case of the cousins their circumstances did not escape the effects of such traumatic changes.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Les Arcs: exposition "Libération 1944".

L'exposition "Libération 1944" conçue par Charles Clairici ex animateur de la chapelle de l'Observance de Draguignan [lien]
se déroule à la Chapelle Saint-Pierre du Parage au coeur du vieux
village. L'exposition couvre en fait la période complète de la 2è guerre mondiale, du 1 septembre 1939 au 8 mai 1945. Un morceau de l'histoirede France qui révèle nos éternelles divisions... De la drôle de guerrejusqu'à l'invasion de la France en mai 1940, l'effondrement de nosarmées, l'armistice du 22 juin 1940, le gouvernement de Vichy et sa collaboration avec l'occupant, la chasse aux juifs, aux communistes etaux tsiganes... Mais aussi la résistance qui s'est organisée très tôt, à la fois à l'appel du général de Gaulle depuis l'Angleterre, et peu à peu dans toute la France. Lire la suite....

Monday, August 11, 2014

"Wissant 1939-1945": un ouvrage truffé de témoignages et de photos. livre de Franck Dufossé et Hervé Olejniczak

L'un est passionné par Wissant, l'autre par les blockhaus. Franck Dufossé et Hervé Olejniczak, deux anciens étudiants diplômés en histoire ont uni leurs compétences pour écrire le livre « Wissant 1939-1945, Images d'un village dans la guerre ». Lire la suite...