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Joseph Quirk's World War II Story

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Dad was shot down in France November 18, 1943
His escape is an amazing story of personal perseverance but mostly a story of bravery from the people of France in the  Jade-Fitzroy sub-section of the French Resistance, and especially the Jestin, Bodiger, Rolland families, Dr. and Mrs de la Marniere and their daughter, Maryse de la Marniere (McKeown), Madame Callerac and Col. Riban
 
On this page I'd like to share photo's and stories of those brave men and women. We as a family have been able to stay in contact with some of those families who helped him escape to this day, and are forever grateful.
 
In 1972 when he returned to France with my sister Eileen to see and thank again those that risked their lives for him in 1943, he was honored by the town of Plouvien, France when they named a street in Plouvien (Rue Joseph Quirk) after him.
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(Middle left photo): Joseph Quirk, Robert Jestin, Louis Bodiger, (Top right): Robert Jestin, Louis Bodiger, Annick Jestin, (Small photo): Louis Bodiger resistance photo ID, (Bottom photo on right): Louis Bodiger’s home in Lannilis

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Jestin Family
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1972 return to France

Lanillis has honored members of the French Resistance with streets being named after them.

The following is the google translation of this webpage. http://www.animation-lannilis.org/index.php?page=louis-bodiger-rue 

Louis Bodiger (Street)

There are few families who lannilisiennes not remember the name of Louis Bodiger. First because it was an affable man and a merchant known and respected. Mr Bodiger ran a cafe in the town of Lannilis. In addition to coffee, Mr. Bodiger had a small transport company. His coach, in fact, went back and forth between regular Landéda, Lannilis and Brest.
At the same time, Louis Bodiger acted taxi and owned a small garage. 

Not for these reasons that our city fathers have chosen to give a street name to Louis Bodiger, but because it was a tough and a fierce patriot.

Enlisted early in the first, the resistance network Jade Fitzroy Louis Bodiger played a prominent role, partly due to its activities. We have already had occasion to say, the network Jade Lannilis of Fitzroy and the surrounding area was responsible for collecting, host, to supply the Allied airmen who fell in the region before their eventual departure for England
from the islands of Landéda. 

And when he had to retrieve the Allied soldiers who did not speak our language and move to Brest or Landerneau Lannilis to the fact benefit from a transport company facilitated the task. 

During the years 1943 and 1944, Mr. Bodiger often accompanied by his son Robert Jestin or Amedee Rolland, has carried many airmen, but also the heads of network or other resistance. It was quite an organization. Some allies have remained several weeks to await the departure of boat from the Aber-Wrac'h.
Meanwhile, it had to be fed, clothed, housed, and sometimes calm. 

In reading some stories and accounts of the time, one wonders how did they not being arrested.
The caution has not always been their primary virtue. 

Some of them unfortunately have been reported, including Joseph Mouden Tréglonou. Louis Bodiger narrowly escaped arrest.
On May 28, 1944, late morning, German soldiers come to his home, he takes coffee Street Audren Kerdrel of the interpreter, after a brief interview invites them to follow the headquarters. 

Louis Bodiger was immediately understood that it was to stop him, he asked his employee to offer a glass to German soldiers to irrigate the birth of her granddaughter and asked the actor permission to mount the upstairs to his jacket. He took the opportunity to jump into the garden and go into the adjoining property. He jumps into effect in the garden of the house of Dr Morvan. Dr Morvan and Colonel Le Bon's brother are in the garden. Louis Bodiger explains the situation quickly, and both men are out on Louis Bodiger Great Place.
He lights a cigarette and went quietly to Lia and through the farmyard in his tenant, Mr. Stephan. 

In town, the commotion of battle, the Germans realized that Bodiger escaped and made the village and block all access. Any movement is prohibited and all men found are immediately arrested. They are around two hundred had to be taken in the raid.
They will be released in the evening after 21:00 after checking their identity papers. 

Robert Jestin, the son-in-law of Louis Bodiger is about him arrested and taken to Brest in one of the coaches her stepfather. He is incarcerated at Pontaniou in the same cell as Jean-Louis Rolland, MP Landerneau.
It will be released June 6, 1944. 

Bodiger Louis was evacuated the next day through the fields, with one of his chaufeurs to Troreon. There will be two days later hidden in a mill Plouvien, where he remained until August 12, 1944.

The following is the google translation of this webpage. http://www.animation-lannilis.org/index.php?page=amedee-rolland-rue

 
Amedee Rolland (Street) 

Started in 1941, it was not until 1943 that was formed a resistance group soon specialized in helping allied airmen gathered in the area or other places further afield, since some of them came
Belgium, one of Bar-le-Duc. 

Originally Brest, this group expanded to our region to have closer contacts the ground. Amedee Rolland, Lannilis, was one of the first recruited and a very active member of this network.
This network was connected to the network Jade Fitzroy, who was one of the most active networks in Britain.

Amedee Rolland lived in the center of town Lannilis, which is now the notary, and ran a cafe. 

His house was the basis for radios that were to come into contact with London.
Some market days, through the open windows of his house, they heard the radio operators from the Grande Place. 

He also participated in many field operations, search and transport airmen, directing them to the site of the airmen on the islands, and retrieve them when the operation had failed. 

Amedee Rolland, Louis Bodiger Robert Jestin, Constable Derrien, Mouden brothers: Joseph and Francois Tanguy family and all their other companions had done this without any ulterior motive, because they thought it was their duty to defend France and its Allies.
None of them tried to get glory in these episodes that were very dangerous to their lives. 

It is a normal intention for the common Lannilis to perpetuate their memory and remind future generations in the dark days and difficult war, men and women stood facing their fate here, without boasting, so we can  as free men.
The following is the google translation of this webpage.
 
Robert Jestin (Street)

Mr. Robert Jestin is, like other people we have already had occasion to mention such Amedee Rolland, Louis Bodiger of resistance network Jade Fiztroy created Lannilis Landéda, Plouguerneau, Kernilis. Initially, it was a network of military type, but very quickly, its leaders saw the advantage to be derived from the proximity of the inlets and the group was structured lannilisien to attend the reception and disposal
Allied airmen, shot down in the region.

Robert Jestin was the son of Louis Bodiger, also an influential member of this network.
Their family owned a transport company, is you say if Robert Louis Jestin and Bodiger were often at the heart of the action. 

The role of this network was to evacuate the airmen by the islands at the mouth of the aber-Wrac'h.
But unfortunately, they failed several times before coming to evacuate all those airmen.

Sometimes, the English ship responsible for the collection that do not find in the jumble of small islands along the coast and then, bad weather prevented the British patrol under the command of Commander Birkin, d 'dock. Is that each failure, he had to back the Allies in their accommodation, to ensure the safety of all those men, feed them, house them.
These airmen were not always fully aware of the danger they were exposing their guests. 

Through Robert Jestin, Louis Bodiger and Amedee Rolland, who Municipality of Lannilis gave a street name, we thank all network comprised more: Theophilus Jaouen, Joseph and Francis Mouden, Constable Derrien, Claude Tanguy
Jean Galliou, Surlapierre for Lannilis and many more ... 

I would like to advise you to read a book, published by Presses Breton at Saint-Brieuc, written by Herve Huygens entitled "For the longest nights" which tells the saga of this network.
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Top left photo is Anne LeRest home, Bottom left is Anne outside her home, Middle right is Joseph Quirk, Robert Jestin, Louis Bodiger

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Left Photo: Monique LeRest
Right Photo: Anne and Monique LeRest
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Mill where He Hid

Joseph Quirk's inscription of 1943 France: the mill where he hid from German's and the (R) is the Benoit River which ran through the area and where he walked through to lose the scent of the German search dogs.

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Theophilus LeRest Family Mill in 1998
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Theophilus LeRest Family Mill in 1998
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French family kept parachute after he was shot down picture taken 1972

Joseph Quirk's parachute dsplayed in the school where Anne LeRest was a teacher – It was a reception for Dad when he was there in 1972 - Anne is the woman in the right of the photo holding the smaller end of the parachute.

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Anne LeRest
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LeStang Family
Jean-Yves & Monique Le Stang and Family

Website created and maintained by George Quirk

446th Bomb Group