2 August 2016

I decided that August is the month that I’m finally going to clear out the ‘study’. While going through heaps of paperwork, I came across this little ink drawing that depicts  my injured granny on a stretcher and my dad and his sister in typical French 40s  attire at her side. On the back my granny had written: ‘Photo made in Luxembourg and sent to my parents by Jean. Made by Jean’s brother Michel. For Jean-Marcel and Pierrette while I had a bad back in Montfort’. See, my granny Louisette was from Brittany, where she met my grandad Jean during the Second World War. Jean had fled Luxembourg just in time to avoid forced conscription into the Wehrmacht and went into hiding on a farm just outside Montfort, where he eventually joined the French Resistance (it was only 60 years after the end of WWII that my grandad Jean got decorated with the Légion d’honneur for his services in the Resistance movement). My grandparents met in the local Café in Montfort, where my granny was helping out and after nursing my grandad back to health after getting seriously injured during one of his missions, they got married. They moved to Luxembourg after the war, where they had three children (my dad Jean-Marcel, Pierrette, who sadly died at the age of three, and my uncle Michel) and stayed until their deaths a few years ago. Unlike Jean, Michel, my grandad’s brother, was conscripted into the Wehrmacht where he lost an arm on the Eastern Front. Luckily he survived and after the war he returned to Luxembourg and became a painter. Today some of his works are on display in the Musée National d’Histoire et d’Art in Luxembourg and, as of now, on a living room shelf in Bristol.

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