|Photographs by Adrian Saker|
Today was Armistice Day in France, a time to commerate the signing of the Armistice agreement the end of the 1st World War, a time for remembering, proud banner bearing, marching and the partaking of le vin d'honneur.
As it was a Bank Holiday here we decided to take the afternoon off and go and visit the Musee de la Resistance en Morvan at Saint-Brisson. The Morvan suffered badly from the Nazi occupation, with arrests, deportation, execution, burnt farms and villages.
The Morvan Forest, a heavily wooded, quite isolated area in the Nievre, Burgundy proved an ideal place for the 'maquis', the underground movement to take hold. The deep wooded valleys of the Morvan countryside provided ideal hiding places near to hamlets or farms.The role of women in the resistance has long been overshadowed. Mostly young girls, they showed as much courage as the men and were equally involved in dangerous and clandestine activities. Some fought alongside the men and others took dangerous risks such as Louise Aubin who was stopped at a German checkpoint outside Corbigny with a secret message from the Maquis Bernard hidden in her chignon. In return for a kiss the soldier let her go - literally a hair-raising moment. After that Louise always memorised all the messages by heart! Others were not so lucky, Henriette Marguerite ran the field hospital for Maquis Socrates and was shot and died alongside her Maquis leader.
The maquis were responsible for liberating most of Le Morvan.
The day finished with a stunning sunset on the way through the forest in the middle of November.