One of the most successful escape routes for allied airmen wishing to cross the border into Spain was right here in the P-O, known as the Pat Line, after the man who set it up.
Millas, on the N116 between Perpignan and Ille sur Tet, has a rather lovely church, full of great Baroque art, plenty of shops and cafés – but today we are heading up to the Col de la Bataille, ancient battle ground and poignant memorial to members of the resistance group Henri Barbusse,
The Avions war memorial at Port Vendres quotes the now legendary tribute from Winston Churchill to the heroic pilots and aircrews who, from June to October 1940 fought the Battle of Britain.
This year we take the time once again to thank all those ordinary men and women who went on to do extraordinary things 100 years ago – and then again just 20 years later.
A “Lest we Forget” drive around the Pyrenees Orientales can be the moment to visit or revisit some of the villages and enjoy the autumn colours whilst taking in some of the fascinating War and anti war Memorials.
A silence, our heads are bowed, a prayer from the Mayor. In turn the boys read out the list of the fallen sons of the Great War, perhaps a dozen names from those awful days. This would have been a village of around a hundred people.
Camp Joffre opened in 1938 and in that first year, changed from housing for the troops to housing for “Undesirables”; refugees from the Spanish Civil War, Jews and Gipsies. So handy for the railway. Destination: Auschwitz, via Drancy.
On 24 August 1944, victory was finally theirs and they were among the first soldiers of liberated France to enter occupied Paris.
On November 12th 1942, the Germans invaded ‘ la zone libre’ (the unoccupied part of France) and arrived in Perpignan.
A simplification of the convoluted military history of the Cote Vermeille