Review of the week

by | Feb 9, 2017

Early in our visit Ben Trumble mentioned that the “Big Picture” of D-Day was available in thousands of books, and that his approach was to tell the story through the experiences of the participants, most of whom no of us (2 couples, reasonably well-informed) had ever heard of, and some of whom didn’t make it past the first few days and hours following the June 6, 1944 assault. Ben’s tour takes his guests from micro to macro – this bridge and road, that hedgerow, this paratrooper, that foxhole, and so on. His castle – yes, it is a castle – is a short walk from several homes where the Germans billeted and then fled after the Allies arrived; we were fortunate to meet an elderly gentleman who was 9 years old at the time, had a clear memory of events, where his family hid, greeting soldiers, and so on. Our tour – punctuated by photographs and a short, reasonably accurate selection from a TV drama – took us to all the well-known sites, beachfronts, battlefields, and of course, the American cemetery. By the time we had finished – 3 nights, 2 days – we were overwhelmed with the emotional power of the experience, far more well-informed than we had been before we arrived, and filled with awe and gratitude.Ben himself is a wonderful, enthusiastic, and entertaining tour guide, and along with his wife Jaye (and their pet hens – Ladies Mary, Edith, and Sybil – were warm and gracious hosts. The castle is large, roomy, full of medieval and 20th-century armaments – was entertaining all by itself. It is difficult to envision a better way to understand a pivotal moment in the history of WW II and, arguably, the 20th century. Ben helped us appreciate that had the outcome differed, the world would be a different place today. We cannot recommend this tour more enthusiastically. Join Ben – you won’t be disappointed