Jan Leeming

The official website of Jan Leeming.

Tv & radio interviewer, newsreader, actress, author and voiceover artiste.


FREE FRENCH SPITFIRE HERO

Friday, 25 November 2022 14:36

The books have finally arrived thank goodness - just in time for the Launch at the BOB Memorial on Sunday 27th November at Capel-le-Ferne.  It looks and feels good and there are a great number of illustrations.  Here I’m holding the original Carnet de René Mouchotte which I purchased from a Bibliotheque in Belgium.  When it arrived I found a little Calling card from René’s mother to some friends thanking her for having her to tea - what are the chances of that.

In the background is a poster/picture which came from the Aerogare Bleriot at Dunkerque just north of Calais. It was from here that Bleriot set off on July 9th 1909 to cross the Channel. I went into the Aerogare to ask permission to take photos of the Mouchotte Memorial in the grounds. The building was being redecorated and there were no pictures etc hanging on the walls.  Got into conversation with the Manager and told him about my research into René.  He went into a back office and brought out this poster for me to see.  I returned a few years later and the poster was not on the walls. Again I spoke with a Manager and asked about it.  He went ‘backstage’ so to speak and came back with it in his hands.  I offered to pay for it but he made a gift of it to me.  I was thrilled.  Had to have it backed and slightly strengthened and it now hangs in my house.

The Book Launch is this Sunday.  If you are interested and live in the near neighbourhood, do come along.  I’ll be showing photos of the places I visited whilst compiling my documentary ‘Searching for René’ which was broadcast on BBC SE in January 2013 - can’t believe it was very nearly a decade ago.

Always wanted to tell the story of my search and through a serendipitous meeting with Dilip Sarkar (Prolific writer of books on WW2) the diaries are now reprinted and my search forms the Epilogue.