A 99-year-old war veteran who shared his bread and jam with a girl in France during the Second World War has been reunited with her 78 years later. While moving through Normandy in June 1944, a fortnight after D-Day, Reg Pye spotted a 14-year-old girl staring at him as he ate his evening meal – a slice of bread with jam and a tin of pilchards.
The then 21-year-old immediately gave the girl his bread with jam and she ran away to eat it.
When he woke up the next morning, he found she had half-filled his mess tin with milk and left a picture of herself with a written message on the back, which he kept in his wallet.
In November this year, the girl was identified as Huguette, now 92, and was reunited with Mr Pye in France where he showed her the picture he had held for 78 years, and gave her another jam sandwich.
Mr Pye, from Burry Port, South Wales, served with the 224 Field Company, Royal Engineers as a driver carrying sappers, mines and ammunition during the Battle of Normandy.
When meeting Huguette, Mr Pye said: “Nice to see you again after such a long time.
“We got older but we’re still the same.”
They drank champagne with their extended families and a translator.
Mr Pye said: “The memory of my very brief encounter with this young girl will stay with me forever.”
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Mr Pye added: “I cannot believe that she has finally been found and I wish to thank everyone, including our friend Emma, our cab driver Paul and the Taxi Charity’s French adviser Nathalie Varniere, who have helped to make my dream come true.”
Mr Cook said: “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.”