Reunited 2008 travel blog

General Maxime Weygand Suite, Le Masion de Cort Amour, Morlaix. France

Chapel at Le Masion de Cort Amour, Morlaix, France

Le Masion de Cort Amour, Morlaix Bed and Breakfast

In Morlaix, France

10 April 1941 – The morning after Bob’s plane was shot down over Brest; a young mother named Simonne Piriou walked a few hundred meters from her house down to the beach with her children, taking them out of the house to get exercise and play with them, picking up shells. A beautiful spring day was shared by other townspeople and their families as they took respite from the bombing and difficulties of the enemy occupation. Suddenly, she noticed a large parachute billowing in the shallow water as the tide went out; a body was attached to the fabric by a harness so she suspected that it came from the Allied plane that was torn apart by the terrible strafing of the antiaircraft guns seen the night before as the people ran for cover during an air raid.

Simonne got the attention of the German soldiers swimming nearby and they pulled the body ashore. As long as she lived, she would recount the events that followed and wondered who the handsome young man was with the bright blue eyes, opened wide with a face at peace and at rest. He was not apparently wounded so must have drowned if he survived the fall. The soldiers went through the uniform pockets of the dead flyer the townspeople would always refer to as Anderson ,and Simonne saw his identification papers along with a picture of a woman and two children. The Germans took the wallet, documents and his wedding ring and promised to turn them over to the family, although no one ever saw the belongings again.

A few days afterwards, when the body was buried in the local Kerfautras cemetery, the townspeople went and gathered round the grave covering the site in the colors of the French flag, with red, white, and blue flowers in open defiance of the Germans. Many people were secretly in the French Resistance, including Simonne and her husband and all knew of the death of Robert Edward Venning Anderson. Over the passing years they would visit his grave time and again, along with the graves of other Allied flyers.

14 May 2008

After having almost slept through the train stop at Morlaix, we literally jumped off, got our bearings and took a taxi to Le Masion de Cort Amour, a wonderful manor house that is now a Bed & Breakfast owned by fantastic hosts, Stafford & Jenny Taylor. We had found their property through a book called, “French Bed and Breakfast” by Alastair Sawday and had made tentative contact with them before our departure from the US. Having called Stafford from the Paris airport, he confirmed that they had a room for us so when we arrived we were most pleased and astounded by their beautiful property on 12 acres. The grounds dated from the 1400s and the house itself was built in the 1830s with not only the main house but two “gites” or rental houses, a chapel and some underground bunkers built by the Germans when they occupied the house during World War II.

The home had been owned at one time by General Maxime Weygand, who had distinguished himself in WWI but was eventually held in this very manor in house arrest after WWII as a collaborator attached to the Vichy government. Our suite was named after him and we were thrilled to find it to be a huge room with modern bathroom, large four poster bed, marble fireplace and a view overlooking the front garden and pebbled drive.

After tea with the owners and a short sleep, we wandered into town and had crepes at the unique Creperie Atipik Bilig, hostessed by a lovely young lady and served in a Scandinavian style dining room of whitewashed walls and modern furniture. We were ravenous and the crepes, a local specialty of Brittany, were just the right meal to start our stay.

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