Montcony Twinning Visit

Linton on Ouse Parish Council hosted a further twinning visit between Montcony and Linton on 28th July. A large French contingent from the Bressane area of Burgundy came by coach to Linton on Ouse.

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As part of a busy schedule during their six day visit to England, the group came up from Lincoln before visiting York , Elvington and Linton on Ouse. They visited the RAF base and the Memorial Room by kind invitation of the station commander, Group Captain Ian Laing, before laying wreaths at the Cairn in the village and being welcomed to afternoon tea in the village hall.

 

 

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They had come to honour the eight airmen who had left Linton on the evening of 23rd October 1942 and had died when their aircraft crashed in the village of Montcony, in Burgundy. The events which followed led to the formation of the Bressane resistance under the leadership of Henri Vincent, who was the village schoolmaster in Montcony. This has been marked since the end of World War Two by commemorations in Montcony, which have grown each year.

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After visiting the Memorial room, the visitors inspected the Yorkshire rose planted at the gates of RAF Linton the last time they came. At Linton Village Cairn, tributes were laid by relatives of some of the men who died, as well as by Sylvie Monin-Badey, chair of the local Souvenirs Francais group in the Montcony area, Group Captain Ian Laing, the Station Commander, and Mike Croft Chair of Linton Parish Council. Flags representing different Resistance groups had been brought from Burgundy, by special permission , for the ceremony and the French and English flags were flown as well as the National Anthems played after the Last Post and Reveille. Many of the comments in the visitors book later referred to the moving ceremony, which had been led by Padre Sandy Gall.

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Cakes for the afternoon tea had been provided by Easingwold Country Market and the Ladies of Linton served tea and coffee to some 80+ guests in the village hall, while the visitors were able to chat with members of the Linton and Montcony Twinning Association and villagers. Photographs from the time of the crash and the events since, including photos from the visits made from Linton to Montcony over the past eight years, were on display – as was the seedling tree, presented at three inches high on their last visit two years ago, and which had now grown to a sapling of 4 feet tall. It had come from the Memorial Garden in Montcony established by the Mayor, M. Reme Chatot, and was from an Acer tree there symbolising the Resistance. It is hoped to plant it out with other memorial trees, in Linton the next time visitors come from Montcony.

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After speeches affirming friendship, and grateful thanks to all who had helped to make the day happen, Sylvie Monin- Badey presented Mike Croft and the people of Linton with a letter of appreciation from the Mayor of Montcony, and a plate depicting the Chapon de Bresse in traditional colours. Mike Croft presented the people of Montcony with framed photographs of Linton Village hall to mark and remember their visit. It was a warm and friendly atmosphere greatly appreciated by all.

As they say ‘Time passes, but the memories remain’. So it will be with memories of their visit.

Jan Jauncey
Linton on Ouse