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

Souvenir Normand Event on Friday 18th October

We look forward to welcoming our members and guests to a showing of Dan Snow’s documentary entitled “Norman Walks’ followed by tea starting at 2.30 pm. at the Emmanuel Centre, Harrier Lane, off Marley Lane, Battle on Friday 18th October. This event was postponed from 11th October in order to allow many of us to attend the funeral of Peter Townley, former Souvenir Chairman, who passed away on 22nd September at his home in Herstmonceux. Peter is already greatly missed by all his many friends within the Souvenir.