Above – Veteran reunited with girl he helped during WWII
Veteran reunited with girl he helped during WWII
A 99-year-old veteran who fed a French girl during the Second World War has been reunited with her 78 years on.
During the Battle of Normandy, Reg Pye served with the Royal Engineers as a driver carrying sappers, mines and ammunitions.
While moving through Normandy, 14 days after D-Day in June 1944, Mr Pye spotted a 14-year-old girl staring at him while he ate his evening meal – a slice of bread with jam and a tin of pilchards.
Aged 21 at the time, Mr Pye handed his bread and jam over to the girl who ran away to eat it.
The following morning he found the girl had half-filled his mess tin with milk and left a handwritten note on the back of a picture of herself, which Mr Pye then kept in his wallet ever since.
Above – The picture Huguette left in Mr Pye’s mess tin
Some 78 years after their initial meeting, Mr Pye reunited with the girl who has been identified as Huguette, now 92.
The pair met in France where Mr Pye showed her the picture he kept, and gave her another jam sandwich.
“Nice to see you again after such a long time. We got older but we’re still the same,” Mr Pye said when meeting Huguette.
With the help of a translator, the pair drank champagne with their extended families.
“The memory of my very brief encounter with this young girl will stay with me forever,” Mr Pye added.
“In the bleakest of times this bit of human interaction made a huge mark on my life, I have carried her picture in my wallet for 78 years always hoping we might meet again.”
The reunion was made possible after Paul Cook, a volunteer from Taxi Charity for Military Veterans, started a social media campaign after hearing the story.
“There are no words to describe how elated I am that Reg has found Huguette, this is like a Hollywood blockbuster and I wouldn’t be surprised if this beautiful story was made into a film,” Mr Cook said.