Honneur a nos Liberateurs

If every object has a story, then that told by a 24-foot banner, embroidered with the phrase that translates so simply as Honour to our Liberators, is an epic. In 1944, it soared above the village of Aubers in northern France to celebrate the defeat of the Nazi occupation. Now, it is a treasured artefact in the collection of the 2nd Air Division Memorial Library in Norwich.  Its meaning and symbolism – the stories and lives woven into its fabric – are multitudinous; the past is a cross weave, and there are myriad ways to unpick and trace the threads. The story of an American airman who was saved from German capture by the French Resistance is just one thread in that banner of the liberation…

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Flares in the Fog: the Final Flight of the ‘Lady Jane’

In Norwich, the history that surrounds you seems as apparent as it is ancient: the Norman castle, the thirty-two medieval churches, and the winding cobblestone streets. In a city like this, the trading estate on Barker Street might very well be the last place you would consider “historic”. Today, it is just a complex of car dealers and nondescript commercial warehouses. But in one abrupt instant seventy-two years ago, this unsuspecting location became etched into the story of the United States airmen stationed in East Anglia in the Second World War.

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