Bastille Day 2020

Dear Friends & Members,

Wishing you a very happy Bastille Day today. I very much regret that our normal celebrations have had to be cancelled due to the continuing lockdown restrictions, but I am sure we shall all be raising a glass (or two) of good French wine to each other wherever we may be. I hope you all keeping safe and well and hugely look forward to being together again in the very near future.


Corinne Gibbons (Chairman, British Section)

Peter Clarke

Dear Friends & Members of the Souvenir Normand

It is with the greatest sadness that we have heard from his widow Jane that Peter passed away at the end of August after a short illness (not Covid). Peter and I joined the Junior Section of the Souvenir Normand back in the early 1970s when his father was the Chairman of the British Section and a Councillor on Hastings Borough Council which meant the SN had close links with Hastings which we very much miss today. We last saw him at the gala dinner at the end of the 2016 Reunion at the Royal Victoria Hotel and he had retained a love of, and interest in, the Souvenir Normand despite living in Hampshire. He was a lawyer by training but went into industry ending up as Company Secretary of British American Tobacco. He was very excited by plans to open a branch of the SN in Sicily as he and my mother visited that wonderful Norman country back in the 70s. He will be greatly missed and remembered by those of his generation with great fondness.

Bob Foster

Dear Friends and Members,

Those of you who are regular readers of The Times will, I am sure, not have missed the commemorative issue published today following the death of Vera Lynn. What you may not have spotted is the splendid photo of Dame Vera, flanked by two members of the RAF Veterans Association resplendent in their war medals, one of whom (on the right) is none other than a former Chairman of the British Section of the Souvenir Normand, Bob Foster. Needless to say, his widow Kaethe, has had several ‘phone calls from friends and family who have seen this lovely photo and who has now managed to get hold of a copy for herself.

I hope that you are all bearing up under this lockdown which we hope will be lifted very soon in order to be able to meet again and re-instate our Domestic Programme.

With love and best wishes to you all.

Corinne Gibbons (Chairman of the British Section)

VE Day Newsletter 2020

Newsletter – VE Day 8th May 2020

Dear Friends,

On this historic day in our national history, I send you my very best wishes and hope that you are all safe and well as we confront an even greater enemy in the Covid 19 pandemic.  In many ways, I am thankful that my parents (who met in Berlin on the Four-Power conferences following the defeat of Hitler and his Nazi party, and who told their children so much about the sacrifices that were made in order that we might live in peace) are not alive to experience this deadly, unseen, enemy which has affected the whole world.  But they would have rejoiced in the memory of the day, 75 years ago, when we celebrated the end of World War II and our friendship with our friends in America and Europe which endures to this day through organisations like the Souvenir Normand.

We give thanks for 75 years of peace and many years of friendship with those who have gone before us, and with those of you who also have memories of the dark days of the War.  May the bonds that we forged then and now, continue to last long into the future.

Corinne Gibbons


Souvenir Normand (British Section)


31st January 2020
The Souvenir Normand (British Section) notes this day when the United Kingdom again demonstrates its independence by turning away from Europe and the European Union.

The Souvenir Normand will continue to work for the spirit of ‘entente cordiale’ {on which our foundation in 1896 was based} between ALL nations, and  especially to ensure peaceful co-existence within the European family of nations.

New Year lunch 2020

21 members of the British Section gathered for our traditional New Year lunch at the Brickwall Hotel in Sedlescombe, East Sussex marking the first of our events in the 2020 Programme. A very happy and convivial time was had by all, particularly by our President, Mme Josette Vaughan and the newest member of the Section, Michael Hodge.

Events programme for 2020

Dear Friends & Members,

You should by now have received your new membership cards and the programme for the British Section events and trips in 2020. If you have not, please get in touch with our Hon. Secretary, Jenny Muir, at to either join our merry band or to renew your membership for 2020. At the 2019 AGM last November it was decided to keep the membership fees at their current rate (£25 per annum full rate; £15 per annum senior rate (over 65 years)), so we hope you will agree that this represents very good value and that you will encourage your friends and acquaintances interested in Norman history to join us. A copy of our programme of events is available from Jenny.

Dennis Mitten

Dear Friends,

It was with great sadness that we learned of the passing of Dennis Mitten just after Christmas. Dennis and his late partner, Stanilaus (aka Stanley) de Cramilly entertained us all for many years at their lovely home in St. Leonards-on-Sea and on many trips and events, always dappily dressed and with mischevious twinkle in the eye. The British Section was well represented at Dennis’s funeral on 15th January and he will be sorely missed at our gatherings.

Souvenir Normand’s oldest member

Your chairman, President & Transport/Events Officer have just returned from celebrating the 100th birthday of Souvenir Normand’s oldest member, Madame Yvonne Joly Fix at the Domaine de la Grande Garenne in the Sologne area of France. The French Section were represented by Frank Hiverlet, son of the former Presidente of the Section, Marie-Rose Hiverlet. The whole week-end was devoted to celebrating Madame Joly’s birthday which included a champagne reception, commemorative flag ceremony, gala dinner, fireworks and finally brunch on the Sunday morning. A really joyous and fitting occasion for this lovely, charming lady.

Mme Yvonne Joly Fix celebrating her 100th birthday