Woman to Celebrate 80th Anniversary of Being Rescued on D-Day

Arlette Gondree was only four years old when British troops liberated her family’s café in Bénouville, Normandy, in June 1944, marking them as the first family freed from German control during WWII. This momentous occasion is vividly remembered by Madame Arlette, who plans to honor the 80th anniversary on June 5th by offering champagne to veterans, continuing a tradition her family has upheld annually.

Her parents played a significant role in the D-Day campaign’s success, spying on German soldiers frequenting their café and passing valuable information to the British, thanks to their multilingual abilities and connections with the French Resistance. The café, situated by the Caen Canal bridge, was of strategic importance, and its capture by British airborne troops was a pivotal first step in the Normandy Landings, the largest land, air, and naval operation in history.

Madame Arlette recalls the kindness of the soldiers who, upon liberating them, provided her and her sister with chocolate and biscuits, symbols of warmth and freedom. Her family’s café later served as a field hospital, with her mother, a trained nurse, caring for the wounded and dying.

Now residing in Warwickshire and married to Theodore Pritchett, Madame Arlette remains a bridge between the British and French, honoring her family’s legacy and the veterans’ sacrifices. The Pegasus Bridge Café, now a site of historical significance, continues to welcome visitors and veterans, keeping alive the memories of liberation and the enduring friendship forged in the aftermath of war.

You can read the full story here. It is incredibly touching with much of the story recounted by Arlette Gondree. It is well worth the quick read.

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