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Widow’s pride at hero Bill’s wartime exploits (Un Anglais au "lorraine") 1ere partie

25 Octobre 2010 , Rédigé par francaislibres.over-blog.com Publié dans #FAFL

La veuve d’un aviateur anglais du Groupe de Bombardement Lorraine a été invitée à une cérémonie commémorative à Brebieres, ancienne base de l’unité d’origine FAFL

Mort récemment, l’ancien radio du N° 342 squadron avait peu parlé de sa guerre. C’est donc  toute une histoire que sa famille reconstitue et qui devrait donner lieu  à un livre.



www.theboltonnews.co.uk (24/10/2010) :link



"THE widow of a Bolton hero learned about her husband’s wartime exploits for the first time after she was invited to a special memorial service in France.

Sarah Morris, aged 81, laid a wreath at the Vitry en Artois air base in northern France before going to a special service at the St Vaast church in Brebieres.

She was invited to the memorial service because her late husband, Bill Morris, flew with French airmen who came to England to train during the war.

Mr Morris, who died last year after suffering dementia, was a gunner and wireless operator in the 342 Free French Lorraine Squadron, usually flying in a Boston medium tactical bomber.

He received badges from the RAF for his time in the squadron but never collected his French service badges, so Mrs Morris, who has been working on a book to record her husband’s wartime memories, wrote to France to request the badges.

She hoped it would cheer up Mr Morris and help him with his illness, and was shocked when she received a reply, and the badges, from a French general, Gen Y M Guegen, who flew with her husband in the war.

She stayed in contact with his office, and although he has since died, his secretary suggested that she go to this year’s memorial service. Soon afterwards she received an invitation from the mayor of Brebieres.

Mrs Morris, her son Jim Morris and daughter-inlaw Gill Morris, were the only English people at the ceremony, and afterwards they enjoyed dinner with a group of English-speaking French veterans in a restaurant which used to be the Luftwaffe’s officers’ mess.

Mrs Morris, of Vermont Street, Heaton, said: “The reception we got was wonderful.

Everyone was so interesting, and the conversation we had — I’ll never forget it.

“I learned a lot about Bill’s as well — I was amazed at what he had been doing during the war.

“I learned about his career and how he could keep it all to himself.

“We didn’t talk about it, and it’s no wonder when you see what they went through, each day playing Russian roulette with their lives.”

Mrs Morris has just finished the book about her husband, Bill Morris — A Lucky Life, and is now looking to get it printed. "






Source photo : http://mairie.brebieres.pagesperso-orange.fr/2000_10.html

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Brian Mills 19/01/2012 22:11

Hello My apologies for not writing in French! Mrs Sarah Morris has asked me to point out a few inaccuracies that appeared in the Bolton newspaper article that you republish here about her late
husband, Bill Morris. His crew were serving with 88 Squadron when they volunteered to join 342 Lorraine Squadron. He was issued with the Group Lorraine Squadron badge to wear on his RAF tunic
(along with an authorization document signed by Commandant Gorri, allowing him to do so). He also flew on operations commanded by Gorri. He received British war medals for his RAF service (but only
when his wife applied for them 60 years later.) He received FAFL and Groupe Lorraine badges from the FAFL Association in Paris when the Sarah contacted them. She had asked the newspaper not to use
the word 'hero' in the article as she knew that he would have been embarrassed by the description. He always considered himself to be an ordinary man who was just doing his job. I hope that his
clears up any misunderstanding. Bill was proud to have served alongside such brave men. The more that I have learned about the Squadron, the more I have come to admire them too. Thank you also for
featuring on your site the book that I helped Sarah write. “Bill Morris – A Lucky Life” is still available on ebay! Best wishes Brian Mills