Donate to Tangmere

News & Events

Free French flag donated to the museum

A Tangmere resident, Philippe Arent, has donated to the Museum a Free French flag in memory of his father Claude who on the night before D-Day was parachuted into the beachhead with the American 101st Airborne forces to act as a translator. Unfortunately, he was wounded in the fighting that followed and was evacuated from Utah beach back to the UK with shrapnel injuries and burns to his arms. After recovering, he became a French Colonel’s ADC in Camberley, Surrey and there met his future English wife Kitty. The war ended with Claude in Paris, following which he married and with his new wife lived for five years back in his native NE France. In the early 1950s, the couple decided to come back to England and settled in Reading where Claude worked in the operating theatres of the Royal Berkshire Hospital.

But, how did Claude join the Free French forces? When the German Army overran France at the beginning of the war he was still studying at school but was soon deported, at the age of 16, to Germany to work on constructing military airfields. He was later sent to Italy to work on the Monte Cassino fortifications but managed to escape to the American lines from which he was put on a troop ship to Liverpool where he experienced for the first time the luxury of doughnuts and American coffee. On reaching England his story was checked, part of the process being to use SOE agents to check back in France the details he had given. Prior to D-Day, he joined the Free French and was trained as a paratrooper.

The photographs are of Claude during the war and his son Philippe presenting the flag to Alan Bower, the Museum’s Director.

Latest News

Royal Garden Party

As a recipient of the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service announced on 2nd January, the Museum received an invitation for two of our members to…

Continue reading

Museum Awarded Queen's Award For Voluntary Service

Buckingham Palace announced on Friday 2 June that the Tangmere Military Aviation Museum has been awarded the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service. The Museum,…

Continue reading

Change of Markings for the Museum's Hurricane

To mark the forthcoming Polish and Czech Pilot exhibition (22 July until 3 September) the Museum’s Mk1 Hawker Hurricane full size model, normally marked in…

Continue reading

Museum AGM - 2017

The Museum’s AGM held on Thursday, 27th April was attended by some 30 members of the Trust Company.  Having served as a Trustee for…

Continue reading

  • You can pay using these credit cards:
  • visa
  • mastercard
  • maestro
  • switch
  • switch
  • jcb
  • Queen's Award for Voluntary Service
  • awards for all
  • Visit England Accredited
  • Arts Council
Top