Last update to this page:  Tuesday 11th June 2024
80th Anniversary D Day Commemorations 
Mme Lydie Poulet, maire-adjointe in Bayeux and her husband, Jean-Pierre, invited Ian and Barbara to Bayeux for the 80th Anniversary Commemorations of the D Day landings and the liberation of Bayeux just one day after.

June 5th : Lydie, Barbara and Ian attended a very moving Remembrance Service at Bayeux Cemetery. During the service The Princess Royal read a Charles Causley poem and veterans read out their memories. So humbling.

Later that day we were privileged to attend the service at the Cathedral in Bayeux. The closing singing of Amazing Grace, by Emma Brown, then continued with three pipe bands playing. Très émouvant!!

Meanwhile, M. Poulet was in St Lo amid the tight security surrounding M. Macron. Jean-Pierre's mother had been just 10 years old in June 1944. Bad weather had blown warning leaflets away so she had witnessed the Allied bombing of St Lo firsthand. Jean Pierre was able to introduce her to President Macron.

June 6th: Another ceremony at Bayeux Cemetery. More stirring of emotions through the words of veterans, the lyrics of 'You'll Never Walk Alone', by Emma Brown, splendid speeches emphasising the democratic freedoms of today built on those actions 80 years ago. The thunderous fly past of the Red Arrows was truly emotive.

One of the thousands of graves at Bayeux marks the fall of Private C E Coleman ... Ian's  uncle. There are many of the Dorset regiments buried here too. Perhaps in September we can mark their graves with a commemorative poppy. If, like Ian, you know of someone buried at Bayeux we can add their names to those we wish to particularly remember.

At 19:44 that evening all the church bells rang.

June 7 and 8th were also marked with ceremonies to remember the liberation. Lydie and Jean Pierre attended a speech by President Macron at La Place de Gaulle. June 7th 1944, just one day after D Day, President de Gaulle gave his liberation speech.

That evening, representatives of British Tank and Armoured Divisions led a service to remember the roles of The Essex (The Pompadours) and Sherwood Rangers at their commemorative plaques beside the Musée de la Bataille at Bayeux.

Nearby, at St Vigor, another commemoration. June 7 and 8 1944 witnessed the building of an airport for 150 Spitfires within 48 hours. One Canadian Spitfire pilot was present to hear beautiful speeches and memories from children and dignitaries alike.  Among the dignitaries were those from Congo Brazzaville. This emphasised the part Congo Brazzaville and neighbouring Central African countries played as both de Gaulle's capital of 'Free France' and as a source of many soldiers who fought alongside the Allies. The area continues to forge strong links with Congo Brazzaville. 

2024 exchange visit:  

Friday 13th-Monday 16th September 2024

Arrangements are well in hand for an exciting four days.  We're now delighted to learn that the Mayor of Dorchester will be joining us! 

2023 exchange visit

What a fantastic weekend we all had!  See the Photographs page for photos.

  • Earlier this Autumn, Members of the Dorchester Bayeux Twinning Society were pleased to host a weekend visit from over 40 of their French twinning partners from Bayeux.  This was the latest in a long series of reciprocal twinning visits that have taken place every year since the 1960s and this year it was this turn of the Dorchester side of the partnership to host our Bayeux friends for this return visit which had been delayed due to COVID.

  • The importance of maintaining the twinning relationship is recognised by Dorchester Town Council who gave an excellent civic reception in the Victorian Hall of Dorset Museum, with a welcoming address from the Mayor, Alistair Chisholm, and a response from Bayeux’s Maire Adjoint, Madame Lydie Poulet, and the French twinning President, Patrick Benoist.

  • The day continued with an afternoon visit to Sherborne castle where more than 80 hosts and guests appreciated a very informative and well-presented tour of this magnificent castle which was once home to Sir Walter Raleigh.

  • The evening was spent catching up with friends and family news at the homes of the hosts.  The Dorchester Bayeux society was delighted to welcome new Twinning Society members from Poundbury who were hosts for the first time, and which afforded them the opportunity to show their French guests this distinctive part of Dorchester.

  • After a leisurely Sunday morning, the Twinning Society committee laid on an excellent three-course meal in the delightful Pengelly rooms at Kingston Maurward house where guests and hosts enjoyed a traditional English roast Sunday lunch with which our guests were suitably impressed.

  • Finally, on the Monday morning our French friends gathered in Poundbury where they sampled the wide range of refreshment opportunities and were able to find souvenirs and stock up on some of their favorite English foods before setting off to catch the ferry home.

Gareth Jones, Chairman, Dorchester Bayeux Twinning Society

French Conversation Coffee Mornings: 
Our French Conversation Coffee Mornings were revived in August 2023, led by Barbara and Ian.  More information on the programme page.

Pétanque Club
DBS members are invited to join the U3A group to learn the game and take part in some practice matches.  More information on the programme page.

Vivre à Bayeux

The latest copy of a community magazine published by Bayeux town council called 'Bayeux à Vivre' can be found here.  The Dorchester-Bayeux Society featured in the one-hundredth edition, see extract below.

The December 2023 issue includes an interesting article celebrating the history of Bayeux, with 2024 marking the 1,100th anniversary of its connection to the Duchy of Normandy and eighty years since the Normandy Landings  (see page 12). 

The magazine can be downloaded (télécharger) or viewed online (consulter).

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