(Speaks: Dutch, English, German)
I’m René van Oirschot and I grew up in The Netherlands. Way before establishing Bayeux Sightseeing Tours, from a very young age I have been interested in WWII history. I was fascinated as a child by the stories my parents and grandparents shared at home in Holland.
During Operation Market Garden, the 101st Airborne Division picked their drop zone in the vicinity of the village I grew up. This gave me the enthusiasm to research this and that is where I learned of this great military event. I joined an association which is very active in keeping WWII history alive. This association made it possible to meet a lot of WWII veterans and I attended lots of battlefield tours with them telling us their stories. These stories we have heard first hand are part of our presentation and to share these on tour gives us great pleasure so we can honor the memory as the years go by. This decade we are in transition from remembering to history, and sharing these stories will keep the memory alive of “The Greatest Generation”!
Before being a tour guide and having Bayeux Sightseeing Tours, I attended the jump school of “WWII Airborne Demonstration Team”, based in Frederick Oklahoma, USA. There I learned to jump. It was as close as I could get to the real experience of a WWII paratrooper.
I moved to Sainte Mère Église and established Bayeux Sightseeing tours after I had been visiting the Normandy invasion beaches numerous times over the years to build on my knowledge and to see firsthand where and how the events happened here on the beaches. I established Bayeux Sightseeing Tours to give our clients information and an enjoyable experience walking the ground that those brave soldiers fought, over our most precious good: Freedom!
(Speaks: French, English)
I’m Flavie Poisson, born and bred in Normandy and lived here all my life, as my ancestors did. When I was young and walking at the beaches on Sunday afternoons, asking myself what these big walls of concrete were. My grandparents told us their stories as young boys and girls in 1944. During the 6th of June festivities, I asked myself why so many people came in our little villages, why these old men had so many medals on their jackets … One day, my dad asked me to thank one of these old men in his wheelchair. We started talking to him and listened to his amazing story. This is just one of many childhood memories that made me become interested in WWII.
After my studies in tourism, I decided to work and share these stories of what happened here … If walls could talk……but can’t, because beaches can only let us imagine what happened and because our grandparents won’t be here forever.
After a thesis about how to transfer their memories of the Battle of Normandy to younger generations, I went to the USA to meet and thank WWII Veterans. During 4 months, we met (with the WWII Veterans’ Memories Project) not less than 60 WWII veterans. That was the best experience of my life. Meeting all these vets made me realized even more how important it is to keep their stories alive and I wanted to be part of it!
Once back to France, I started to work as a guide for schoolchildren at the Airborne Museum in Sainte Mere Eglise and did that for 2 years. I also developed pedagogical tools to make children understand WWII and the Battle of Normandy for this same museum. Currently I take care of PR and guided tours for the Utah Beach museum.
I want to continue to share, all the emotional stories that happened here. Let me guide you and make you discover the special places of Normandy.
(speaks: Dutch, English, French, German)
I’m Hubert Achten, born in The Netherlands. After studies in business and foreign languages, I had a professional career in international sales and marketing and was mainly active with US established companies. Passionate in WWII history, I moved to Normandy where the largest allied operation of WW II took place and wanted to keep history alive.
“Why do I do it?” During a trip to Key West , Florida pulling into a rest stop, I saw WWII vets giving coffee and cookies to weary travelers. It struck me that they seemed “a little forgotten about.” I was shocked since, in France, those are our movie stars. They deserve respect and admiration. I knew that this isn’t right, their service can’t be forgotten.
This experience inspired me to donate a monument to Robert Wright and Kenneth Moore, two American 101st Ariborne medics, to the village of Angoville-au-Plain. The two were known for treating the wounded, both friend and foe, inside a small 12th century church in that village.
Also I started an association to preserve the church and funded the stained glass window project there. As a result, Angoville-au-Plain and its heroic medics started to become remembered again. I continued to honor veterans who fought and died to restore Europe ’s freedom and donated a memorial to the first allied surgical hospital set up June 6th 1944 at Hiesville by the 101st Airborne Division.
Founder and president of the association Round Canopy Parachuting Team. It is in that role that I’m responsible for the organization and logistics around the commemorative parachuting during the anniversary in June every year.
It will be my pleasure to show and tell you all about what those brave soldiers during the invasion in Normandy had to endure.
(speaks: French, English)
I’m Cyrille, 46 years old and have a son.
I have worked for several companies at (commercial) management level before ending up here.
Since a little boy, I have been always fascinated by History and especially the D-DAY invasion in Normandy. This is the reason why I moved to Normandy in 2002 with the intention to spend the rest of my life here. I left Paris to live where D-DAY took place, close to the WWII invasion landing beaches!
Very interesting and and enjoyable to me, was to advise several writers for their books about WWII and being involved in the production of a DVD about the Normandy invasion.
For four years I have worked for Dead Man’s Corner Museum, D-DAY Paratroopers’ Historical Center in Saint Come du Mont, near Sainte Mère Église.
For many years I was involved in WWII reenactments and educating people who wanted to learn more about this literally history changing event.
Also, I‘m a qualified round canopy parachutist, military / WWII style and Jumped on D-DAY’s 70th anniversary to celebrate and honor our liberators.
Choose Bayeux Sightseeing Tours for the highlight of your holiday…………….!