The BARN-y army! Remarkable doodles and graffiti British troops left in Normandy barn just after D-Day – including sketches of girls and football team rivalries
- A British Second World War historian discovered the graffiti inside a barn after hearing about it at a local B&B
- The sketches were left by British troops who stayed overnight at the barn near Bayeux in the Normandy region
- Soldiers signed their names accompanied by hometowns and the date, June 9, 1944 – three days after D-Day
These fascinating pictures show graffiti left by British soldiers on the walls of a barn in France where they sheltered overnight just after D-Day in June 1944.
The doodles and names were scribbled by the troops who had liberated the village of Sommervieu after the Normandy landings.
The soldiers, who spent the night sleeping in the barn, scribbled their names, girlfriends’ names and even favourite football teams on the walls.
British World War Two soldiers slept overnight in a barn in Normandy and left etchings and graffiti on the walls, such as this one depicting women
A military historian conducting research into World War II discovered the previously unseen graffiti. Here a British soldier smoking a pipe and carrying a rifle is seen capturing a rival German
Other drawings include a German soldier being captured by the British, as well as sketches of women and artillery.
Places named include Nottingham and Liverpool – which is described as the home of ‘the best football team on earth.’
Dan Hill, 33, a British military historian who leads battlefield tours for war veterans, heard about the graffiti at a local B&B. He asked to see the barn, where he found a range of messages and drawings made by British soldiers almost 80 years ago.
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Dan, from Letchworth, Hertfordshire, said: ‘It was very emotive – especially given the context of being there researching the second world war.
‘To find an unknown piece of history without even looking for it was incredible.
‘That whole area is steeped in history and not just the well-known memorials and landing beaches.
The barn where the messages were discovered is located on a farm close to Bayeux, which was liberated a few days after D-Day in 1944
Two soldiers named J. Kendall and J. Bibby, both from Lancashire signed their names on the wall along with the date – June 9 1944
One soldier wrote a tribute to his home city of Liverpool – which he describes as the home of ‘the best football team on earth’
‘The history of the campaign in 1944 can quite literally be found written on the walls of barns and old farmhouses throughout the Normandy area.
‘These guys were the tip of the sword when it comes to the liberation of Europe, it’s a reasonable chance that those people writing their names on the wall were the very people who liberated that farmyard.’
The farm, located close to Bayeux, was liberated a few days after D-Day by British troops advancing inland following their amphibious landing at Gold Beach.
Dan said the signatures and graffiti had a ‘distinctly regional feel’ mostly relating to ‘Lancashire and the North-West of England.’
When Dan Hill, 33, a British military historian, discovered the barn after hearing about it at a local B&B. There he found a range of messages and drawings made by British soldiers almost 80 years ago
Dan, from Letchworth, Hertfordshire, described the scene as very emotive, and said the soldiers represent a generation that were involved in one of the defining moments of European history
Part of the history of the Second World War can be found scribbled on the walls of this barn, which belongs to a farm near the town of Bayeux in the Normandy region of northwestern France
One message reads: ‘J Bibby, SS (believed to stand for South Shore) Blackpool – the one and only, Lancs, 9/6/44.’
And another simply says: ‘J Kendall, Manchester – The town of Lancashire, 9/6/44’ while another reads says: ‘A Evans, 14 24 1939’.
Dan continued: ‘It’s a great snapshot of history.
‘We don’t know the stories of them as individuals but they represent a generation of men and women that were involved in one of the defining moments of European history.
The barn is part of a farm which was liberated a few days after D-Day by British troops advancing inland following their amphibious landing at Gold Beach
The walls of the barn are decorated with drawings of women, comedy sketches, signatures accompanied by dates and some north-west England rivalries
‘It would be incredible to be able to identify some of those men who passed this way shortly after D-Day in 1944 and to find out what became of them.’
Dan continued: ‘There was a range of things on the walls, a few comical sketches, signatures with dates, a nice bit of North-West rivalry.
‘There was a comment about Blackpool and even a “stag-list” including names and times that soldiers were to be on duty throughout the night.
‘It was incredible, quite often we like to think there are things like this out there still waiting to be found, but it’s very rare to actually find them these days.’
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