What a day!

06 June 2024 |

We knew that our DMAT children were great but today they raised the bar again!

We set off from the chateau this morning prepared for roadblocks, traffic jams and delays. We encountered them all!

Expecting the issues created by the special events planned for the 80th anniversary of D Day, we managed to secure a special permit from the mayor of Creully to be able to pass through the police roadblocks.

The service held at the British Memorial in Arromanches was being attended by our King and Queen and world leaders from several countries, so roads for miles around were closed, including all the landing beaches.

We attempted twice to enter Creully but were turned away and we were fearful that our hopes to attend the service at the war memorial there would be dashed. Finally, we retreated to Bayeux to enable the children to get off the coach and stretch their legs. We put the option to them that we could try again, but we might be disappointed …. the children wholeheartedly encouraged us to try again!

So after lunch we made our way back to the police officers who called their superiors …. to no avail. At this point cavalcades of coaches being escorted by police outriders began to arrive. We pulled into a lay-by to consider our next steps and out of the blue we received a message from our partner school that our participation in the memorial service qualified us to enter Creully so long as we could arrive quickly.

With the sound of children’s cheering and rehearsal of the national anthem ringing in our ears, we made haste to drive the short distance back to the town.

We were directed to a parking bay and marched into the town, through the residential streets. All of a sudden we heard the sound of police sirens and then saw the familiar burgundy ceremonial Rolls Royce of the British Royal family. The vehicles slowed down and to our surprise King Charles and Queen Camilla waved to us, to much jubilation from children and adults.

Ultimately, we found our places in front the memorial in time to welcome Cecil Newton, D-day veteran and the service began. Following the lengthy service during which our partner school children read out the 167 names of 4th and 6th Dragoon guards lost during WW2.

One child from each of our schools joined the proceedings to lay our DMAT wreath. Then our moment came to sing the national anthem: our children sang with all their heart and soul! Incredibly moving!

We celebrated afterwards with  ice cream as a thank you for outstanding spirit and behaviour. Just magnificent!

This evening we have enjoyed a BBQ for our final night at the chateau before we pack our bags tomorrow morning.

A memorable day indeed. A day we will all remember forever.