I went away last week to France and saw the Bayeux Tapestry. It's an exhibit I have always wanted to study. It tells, with a eleventh century depiction, the battle of Hastings in 1066. The skill of the medieval embroiders is amazing. The tapestry is rumoured to have been made in Canterbury, England, and shipped over to Normandy, but who knows what the truth is.
After that I went to the beautiful Cathedral in Bayeux.
It truly was a beautiful place. Inside there were tombs of Saints and remarkable paintings.
Then a strange coincidence closed to my eyes. I noticed a little plaque in a corner as my footsteps echoed on the stone floor. It was dedicated to an American called, Captain A. Peter Dewey.
He was the first American to be killed in Vietnam (French Indochina) as it was called at the time in 1945. He had been accidentally shot by the Viet Minh. It was very poignant as my book, 'Slaves To The Generals' is partly about that time period.
Later, I went to one of the Normandy beaches where the Allies launched 'Operation Overlord' against the Germans in 1944. You can see in the bay the wrecks of sunken landing craft and the rock barrier defenses put up by the Germans. I then went further inland and saw one of the main battlefields where the German gun emplacements - encased in concrete - and some blown to smithereens by Allied planes or artillery lay like empty tombs.
It certainly was an eye-opening experience about the enormity of war that occurred all them years ago.