In a story that seems to have come directly from the adventurous story of a boy, John Jammes and his group of resistance fighters helped keep a total of 80 Germans imprisoned – and kept them in a shed
At the age of 17, John Jammes was already a seasoned hunter with the French resistance.
Despite his age, he was no stranger to the risks of participating in sabotage missions in his occupied homeland. He even helped knock down the Allied pilots.
But in a story that seems to have come directly from the adventurous story of a boy, he and his resistance fighters helped a total of 80 Germans imprisoned and kept them in a shed.
Jammes, now 92 years old, unveiled his war expeditions during the Chalke Valley History Festival yesterday.
Speaking of his prisoners of war, the great-grandfather of four said: “They were the best-guarded Germans in occupied France, I assure you.
& # 39; We did not abuse them, although of course we questioned them. When the liberation came, we handed those 80 Germans to the Americans who took care of us. & # 39;
Jammes told a well-known audience how he and other resistance fighters would attack German troops by cutting down trees on the path of their convoys.
But these attacks had a huge risk. When three hunters were caught during such an ambush, they were buried alive.
A group of French resistance fighters is pictured above in 1940. Despite his age, Jammes was not unfamiliar with the risks of taking part in sabotage missions in his occupied homeland
Jammes told a well-known audience how he and other resistance fighters would attack German troops by cutting down trees on the path of their convoys. A group of resistance fighters is depicted in August 1944 near Chateaudun in central France
Jammes, who was a schoolboy in the summer of 1944 when he joined the resistance group led by his father around Loches, near Tours in central France, he even helped to capture three Germans who were in the shed from a farmer.
When he described his escapades at the Salisbury neighborhood festival, sponsored by the Daily Mail, he said: & In August 1944, these Germans told the farmer: & # 39; We will spend the night in your shed. If you tell the terrorists, what does the resistance mean, we'll shoot you.
& # 39; But the farmer's daughter, she was about 15, came to us and said: & # 39; We have three Germans – what do you think! & # 39; I said: & # 39; That sounds quite exciting! & # 39;
A group of resistance fighters is shown above. Jammes described his escapades as a 17-year-old French resistance fighter at the Chalke Valley History Festival near Salisbury, Wiltshire
Resistance fighters are depicted in the south of France, around the same time that Jammes joined a resistance group in central France. When three resistance fighters were ambushed with German troops, they were buried alive
Resistance fighters are depicted as encouraging American soldiers at the end of the war in Paris. Jammes also smuggled British and American troops into security after they were shot over France
& # 39; We left at midnight, broke the curfew, came to that shed and started screaming, & # 39; Hand hoch! & # 39; – German for & # 39; hands up! & # 39; – and we caught them.
& # 39; One had a great machine gun – a beautiful weapon, ten times better than our guns, so we borrowed it for the rest of the war. & # 39;
Jammes also smuggled British and American troops into security after they were shot over France.
& # 39; Our job was to save them, give them false papers, feed them and send them from safehouse to safehouse across the Pyrenees, & # 39; he said. & # 39; You were told, & # 39; There is a package for you & # 39 ;.
The Chalke Valley History Festival held near Salisbury, Wiltshire is sponsored by the Daily Mail
Escorting a British pilot was relatively easy because the British were the same size as the French.
But Americans were huge and even walked differently, so it was much harder to succeed as a Frenchman. & # 39;
After the war, Mr. Jammes received the Croix de Guerre for his courage. He moved to Britain, changed his name from Jean to John, and taught French at Cranfield University, near Bedford.
Although he never feared death during the war, he was pursued by the prospect of being tortured.
& # 39; I knew way too much and there is no guarantee that you can sustain it, & # 39; he said.
The Chalke Valley History Festival near Salisbury, Wiltshire is in its ninth year and tickets are still available to see top speakers included Harry Enfield, Ian Hislop, Max Hastings and Dan Snow. Visit cvhf.org.uk for details.
A trench and Normandy scenario is recreated at the Chalke Valley History Festival near Salisbury. Jammes even helped the allied airmen (whose missions helped the troops on the ground, as recreated at the festival above)
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