A military historian staying at a French farm found graffiti on the walls of its barn – scrawled by British war heroes in June 1944!
Dan Hill, 32, is now hoping to track down the veterans – or their families – including one soldier from Blackpool.
Several names are written on the wall of a barn near Bayeux, which was liberated from the Germans in the days that followed the Normandy landings on June 6, including ‘J Bibby of S.S Blackpool’.
Dated June 9, it includes the comment “the one and only”, and is written beside notes from soldiers from Manchester and Liverpool.
Dan, from Hertfordshire, said he believes the men were part of a north west infantry batallion or tank unit – and said the mysterious ‘J Bibby’ appeared to survive the bloody battle to free France from the grip of Nazi Germany. He said he believes ‘S.S’ may stand for ‘South Shore’ and hopes to one day speak to the veteran – if he is still alive – or his family.
“He was not killed despite going through the entire Normandy campaign because he’s not in the casualty register. “It’s likely he survived it – possibly wounded, but not killed,” he said.
Bayeux, home to the Bayeux Tapestry, was the first major town secured by the Allies during the Battle of Normandy, with Charles de Gaulle making two famous speeches in the town.
The 56th Independent Brigade, made up of regiments from across the country, which in turn were made up of people from all over, moved through Bayeux in the days that followed D Day.
If you have any information on Mr Bibby, whose rank is not known, call (01253) 361717.