Category Archives: Uncategorized

Retro Carfest


Saturday, 15 September

The Ringmer Multi-Marque Motor Club is once again making ts annual visit to Estréelles, and you are invited to come and spend some time with us and with these lovely old cars. During the afternoon we will be joined by Auto Rétro des Sept Vallées motor club from Beauranville.

The programme for the day is as follows:

  • 11.30 Welcome and pot de l’amitié, followed by free rides round the village in the cars
  • 18.00 Drinks and nibbles offered by the British visitors and perhaps some entertainment from the British and the French.
  • 20.00 Dinner of Tartiflette, desert and coffee at the Mairie.

If you would like to join us for the meal, the cost is 10€, but could you please telephone Lalage on 03 21 81 47 65 or e-mail on before Tuesday, 11 September.

Ask Leroy ~ Where is he?

Doctor Leroy Desfrites

Many of you have been asking why we have not heard recently from Frogsiders’ resident expert-on-everything, M. Leroy Desfrites.

To find out, we asked Leroy himself.

“Bonjour M. Desfrites.  Our readers have been asking where you have been.”

“Well, in fact, I have been here all the time.  And, by the way, I am now Dr. Desfrites, having recently received an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Stoke Newington, which, as you know, is a celebrated seat of learning, founded many years ago in London by King Tony The Blair, for my outstanding work on Climate Change .”

How interesting, Doctor.  We had not heard of your work in this area.  In simple layman’s terms, what conclusions did you draw from your study?”

“Climate Change – it is happening.”

“Er, yes, anything else?”

“It will continue to happen”

“Anything else?”


“Well, that is fascinating!  Now, to satisfy our curiosity further, can you tell us why Frogsiders’ readers have not heard from you recently?”

” Because they have not asked me any questions, of course!”

“I see.  Of course!  Well Dr. Desfrites, at least no-one can say you don’t answer every question that you are asked.  Thank you so much for your time”

Dr. Leroy Desfrites will answer any of your questions, so if there is anything puzzling you, anything that you need advice on, any question that you have on any subject, please do let us know, and Frogsiders will bring you Dr. Desfrites authoritative answer in full.

Please use the CONTACT US link here or at the top of the page to pose your question.

Need a sign? Get one made online by Sign-O-Matic

Here at Frogsiders we’re always on the lookout for a good idea and we’ve just found one!

The Sign-O-Matic online design page

We needed a new house number sign for our driveway entrance from the street, and we found an online company that will produce exactly what we want – and deliver it to us by post within 7 days.

The company is called Sign-O-Matic. They are based in Sweden but deliver all over Europe – and their website allows you to design your own sign in exactly the way you want it (subject to some limitations of colour and materials).  You can, if you want to, import your own logo into the design, or use any of the stock emblems and images available on the site for a professional looking commercial result.

They make signs for indoors and outdoor use, businesses and private customers, vans, boats, windows, doors, on plastic, wood, metal or just vinyl lettering.

If you need a sign for any purpose at all, why don’t you take a look at their website?

Remembrance: How old did you have to be?

Although there are no signs of violence or wartime damage in this photo from July 1918, I find it one of the most shocking images from the Great War that I have ever seen.

Almost unbelievably, this is an official photo of new recruits to the British army on arrival at Etaples, where they would receive a few days of training before being shunted up to the front as replacements.

I wonder how many of these children made it home?

FIRST WORLD WAR 1914 – 1918: WESTERN FRONT.© IWM (Q 23586)

Photo from the Imperial War Museum Collection

Remembrance: film of Etaples Camp in 1918

The last two posts make reference to the vast encampment at Etaples, where at any time there might be 100,000 men, in training, resting, in hospital, handling and moving supplies, working in hospitals (there were several at Etaples), tending the cemetery and many other tasks.

I have discovered a fascinating and moving film, in the extensive Canadian Film Archives,  of the funeral procession and mass burial of casualties from a German bombing raid on the camp in May 1918, a few days after the raid that killed Betty Stevenson.

Among the dead are three Canadian nurses which is probably why some of the soldiers in the procession are carrying flowers, and also why there is such a large turnout for the funeral.  After all, funerals were nothing new at Etaples in 1918 – according to one contemporary account they were running at 40 a day at times in 1916.

The film clearly shows that the camp was still, even by 1918, still largely a city of tents.

Remembrance 11 November

Etaples Military Cemetery commemorates 11,436 British and Commonwealth servicemen and women who died in the 1914-18 war, and a further 121 who died in the 1939-45 war.

At a ceremony there today, wreaths were laid by the Mayor of Montreuil, the Mayor of Etaples, and by Jeremy Towler on behalf of the Royal British Legion.

A wreath dedicated to the 1,100 or so Canadian servicemen in the cemetery at Etaples was laid by a Canadian representative.

Entering Etaples cemetery past the Honour Guard of cadet Sapeurs Pompiers

The town of Etaples provided an honour guard of cadet Sapeurs Pompiers, and a bugler.  Local Police and Gendarmerie officers were present in the official party, and number  of “Anciens Combattants” lowered their standards in salute.

A large number of local citizens took the time to be present to recognise the sacrifice of British and Commonwealth servicemen – and women* – who died defending France, and several British visitors came to lay wreaths and remember their family dead.

Part of the beautifully maintained British and Commonwealth Military cemetery at Etaples

It was good to see how well, after all the years that have passed, France still honours these foreigners who came to their country to die.

*Etretat was a huge training camp and supply centre, as well as a vast hospital base.  The Germans recognised its importance and bombed it.  A number of British nurses and volunteers who were there to tend to the wounded in the military hospital lost their lives in the bombardment and are buried alongside the warriors in the cemetery.

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