Discussion in 'Pegasus Bridge' started by Kelly War44, Sep 28, 2006.
The Cafe Gondree today
What exactly is the significance of this cafe? never heard of it.
Cafe Gondree at Pegasus Bridge: first building liberated on D Day.
Nothing really significant other than it been the first place to be liberated on D-Day after the taking of Pegasus Bridge. :wtf:
Obviously this significance was missed by some.....:silly:
I think we should give a little more detail in the significance of Cafe Gondree..
Cross the bridge and at the western end on the immediate left is the famous Cafe Gondree. There is a car park for patrons adjacent to the cafe and a public one next to that. This has a good claim to be the first building in France to be liberated by the Allies and contains a little museum, a souvenir shop and a briefing room. The cafe is usually closed between the last week in November and the first week in March. Information about the cafe and its facilities can be obtained from M. Gondree-Pritchett, tel/fax: +33 (0)2 31 44 62 25. Adjacent to the cafe is the Pegasus Bridge signpost which is a copy, renovated in 2003. The original (now held in the Memorial Pegasus) was designed and made in the workshops of 286 Field Park Company, RE, here in June 1944 after the bridge had been renamed by the airborne troops and was unveiled on 26 June 1944. Opposite the Cafe Gondree is Les 3 Planeurs cafe-restaurant with an A27M Centaur tank on display outside - this type was used by the Royal Marine Commando Armoured Support Unit. This specimen was recovered from Sword Beach at la Breche d’Hermanville and was restored and placed here in 1975.
Lieutenant Smith struggled across to the western end of the bridge but was wounded again in the wrist when a German stick grenade went off beside him by the Cafe Gondree. Nevertheless, he continued to lead his platoon in mopping up the resistance from the machine-gun pits and trenches.
Lieutenant Sandy Smith later said:
‘The poor buggers in the bunkers didn’t have much of a chance and we were not taking any prisoners or messing around, we just threw phosphorous grenades down and high-explosive grenades into the dug-outs there and anything that moved we shot.’
Source: Carl Shileto, Pegasus Bridge & Merville Battery.
The Cafe Gondrée at the western end of Pegasus Bridge. This original building was home to the Gondree family in 1944. Georges Gondrée provided valuable intelligence about the bridge defences to the British via the local Resistance organisation. The cafe was to be Lieutenant Brotheridge’s headquarters after the seizing of the bridge but he was killed before reaching the building. Georges Gondrée celebrated the liberation of his home by digging up 98 bottles of champagne which he had hidden in his back garden and many airborne troops enjoyed a drink there during the first few days of the battle when it was being used as a first aid post.
Thanks for the better info Jim:thumb:, maybe I should've made a better post in the first place:red: