A Wartime Love Story

On September 30th 2014 there was a Ladies and Guests' Supper themed "A Wartime Love Story".

Guests at Table 
Guests awaiting their supper  Photos: Robin Hendy - click any image to enlarge

Over 30 years ago Richard Kemball-Cook found in his grandmother’s effects a bundle of some 80 love letters from a US Infantry Colonel, Brian McMahon, dating from June 1944 to 1948.

It was only 3 years ago, however, that he could bring himself to open up the bundle and he found an eyewitness account of the Utah beach landings, the Battle for Normandy, working with Eisenhower in SHAEF, visits to the concentration camps and the denazification of Germany.

 Richard describes his Grandmother's escape from Russia  The Colonel (Mark Rosen)Colonel Brian McMahon, portrayed by Mark Rosen

Richard presented just 20 letters from the US Colonel dated from 4 June through to 28 July 1944, mostly written during a break in the battle describing how he lands on Utah Beach, leads the 315th Regiment north through the Bocage, takes Cherbourg and then turns south. The tales he recounts are of military legend; at times he was taking 2000 prisoners a day!

Richard described the events of each day from D-Day onwards with slides and photographs. Mark Rosen, dressed in contemporary US Colonel's uniform, read excerpts from the almost daily letters. The letters change as the battle intensifies, the Regiment takes casualties and the Colonel confronts his own demise.


Saturday 11th October 2014

Published by: The Rotary Club of Canterbury

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