WW2 and family history together?
Count. Me. In.
Though my husband loves history, I'm on a whole different level. I'll find the random facts and share them with him while we're at the place I've researched or on our way to a destination. He listens and enjoys the little tidbits I ramble on about, for the most part, I think. Which I can't say that I blame him if he just wants to nod and then go back to whatever I had interrupted him from doing.
I've always had the dream of taking a road trip in France but not just any road trip. The plan would be to go the same route as my grandfather had in WW2 with the Canadian Grenadier Guards.
Starting at Juno Beach in July 1944, his regiment would make their way to the Netherlands.
This of course would take more time than we planned this trip, which will only be ten days, but I still took the time to research and add the points my grandfather was in France so we could stop by important ones.
Thanks to the hard work and dedication of many fantastic people from Project '44 finding these places were going to be a little easier.
The interactive map allows you to follow a specific unit, country, and more to help filter down what you're looking for. And for me, I was able to follow the Canadian Grenadier Guards, an Armoured Regiment.
By clicking the calendar to move day by day, I followed the tank icon as it made progress on the frontline, but what was even more special was the war diaries that were included with each location and date.
The countdown is on, and I really look forward to standing in the same place my grandfather had.
He never spoke of the war, which is understandable, but I sometimes wonder if he were alive today and knew about my love of Canadian history and our family's history, would he have opened up a bit or spoke of the good times they had. How it felt to liberate a town or how they celebrated D-Day. The friends he made and the locals he met, or perhaps he hoped to see the places m after the war, driving a car instead of a tank, and return to the beautiful landscapes and make happy memories.
So while I'll learn as we venture through Normandy and close to Belgium, it will also leave a lot of questions unanswered.
What sort of research do you do before a trip?