These fascinating pictures detail graffiti left by British soldiers on the walls of a barn in France—just after the Normandy landings on D-Day.
The doodles and names were drawn by troops that had likely liberated the village of Sommervieu, advancing inland following their amphibious landing at Gold Beach.
Soldiers spent the night in a barn, and scribbled their names, their girl’s name, and even their favorite football teams (like Liverpool) on the walls.
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 and was amazed to discover the range of messages and drawings left by British soldiers almost 80 years ago.
Drawings include a German soldier being captured by the British, and a lone tank.
Elsewhere were scribbled town names—Nottingham, and Liverpool—which was described as the home of ‘the best football team on earth.’
The Hertfordshire man said it was quite emotional, “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.
Dan said the signatures and graffiti had a ‘distinctly regional feel’ mostly relating to ‘Lancashire and the North-West of England—“with a nice bit of North-West rivalry.”
One message reads: J Bibby, SS (believed to stand for South Shore) Blackpool – the one and only, Lancs, 9/6/44.
“It’s a great snapshot of history, continued Dan.
“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. It would be incredible to find out what became of them.”
Another wall was used for a makeshift schedule with 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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