On this day: Bastille Day during a war

The commune of Courseulles-sur-Mer in Normandy, France was liberated early after the D-Day landings in 1944. It is believed to be the first town in the region to be freed.

On the 14th of July the same year, a Bastille Day service was held, with locals as well as Allied troops taking part.

British and American troops with locals at the ceremony at the War Memorial. X

Bastille_Day_in_Courseulles,_Normandy,_14_July_1944_TR2000French, British and American troops join with local inhabitants of Courseulles-sur-Mer in the ceremony at the War Memorial

A brother and sister lay flowers. X

Bastille_Day_in_Courseulles,_Normandy,_14_July_1944_TR2003

A local fireman holds the French Tricolour. X

Bastille_Day_in_Courseulles,_Normandy,_14_July_1944_TR2001A local fireman holding the French Tricolour during the ceremony at the War Memorial to celebrate Bastille Day. Courseulles was

A British marine (left), who played the Last Post, stands with local children who wait to lay flowers at the service. X

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D-Day

This image – from the 6th of June, 1944 – shows British troops taking part in the iconic Normandy landings of the Second World War.

Some 156 000 troops from more than a dozen nations took part in the invasion, which was a turning point in the war.

D-day_-_British_Forces_during_the_Invasion_of_Normandy,_6th_June_1944_B5085 D-day - British Forces during the Invasion of Normandy, 6th June 1944 .

On this day…

The C-47s group at the RAF base in Exeter, England on the 5th of June, 1944. This was the day before D-Day, and the planes are painted with identifying stripes. They are parked on the grass as there were too many planes to fit on the concrete.

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On this day…

Mount Vesuvius in Italy erupted in March, 1944, destroying a number of villages.

North American soldiers were in the area at the time, fighting in the Second World War.

The original caption of the picture reads:

Crew member cleaning the ashes and cinders off the wing of a North American B-25 of the 340th Bomb Group. This was caused by the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius on 23 March 1944.

crew-member-cleaning-the-ashes-and-cinders-off-the-wing-of-a-north-american-b-25-of-the-340th-bomb-group-this-was-caused-by-the-eruption-of-mt-vesuvius-on-23-march-1944

Mt Vesuvius in 1944

Mount Vesuvius, a volcano on the Gulf of Naples in Italy, had one of its more destructive eruptions in March 1944.

The eruption destroyed the villages of San Sebastiano al Vesuvio, Massa di Somma and Ottaviano. Part of San Giorgio a Cremano was also destroyed.

John Reinhardt, serving in the US Army Air Forces in the Second World War, took this photograph.

mt-vesuvius-erupting-in-march-1944-shot-by-john-reinhardt-b24-tailgunner-is-the-usaaf-in-wwii

Christmas Day during the war

English children around the Christmas cake in Pinner, Middlesex on Christmas Day, 1944.

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The girl cutting the cake is Jean Devereux, and her father was serving in the war in Italy at the time. The tree is a gift from him, purchased through the “Gifts to Home League” which was operated by the YMCA.

Below is an image of the tree being delivered to the house.

a-representative-of-the-ymca-delivers-a-christmas-tree-to-mrs-devereux-in-pinner-the-tree-is-a-present-from-her-husband-serving-in-the-arm-and-purchased-through-the-gifts-to-home-league-of-the-ymc