As we walked around Beachy Head we arrived at the Watch Tower, or at least what was left of it. Originally a signalling station built in 1896, the roof and most of the walls have long gone. It is now a seating area and brick-built wind break. It can be rather blustery on Beachy Head.
The Watch Tower is adorned with a number of plaques. By far the most interesting one has been mounted on the brickwork for less than a year. It commemorates the crossing of the English Channel, on 16 September 1941, by five Frenchman who were seeking to escape the Nazis and continue fighting as Free French. The remarkable thing was that they undertook this journey, totalling 60-miles, in canoes. It took them 32 hours. The men were aged between 17 and 19. When they arrived in England they were treated like heroes and even met Winston Churchill in the garden of 10 Downing Street.
Reynold Lefebvre was killed in action in March 1945, fighting in France. I do not know what happened to Christian Richard, nor Pierre Lavoix. Guy Richard was still alive and living in the South of France last year. Jean-Paul Lavoix died on 16 February 2013, exactly two weeks to the day before we stood at this plaque commemorating his epic journey.
Points on this part of the walk (copy and paste the co-ordinates into Google Earth):
- Beachy Head Watch Tower: N 50° 44.298 E 000° 14.979
Walk #47 Statistics (of which this post forms the fourth part):
- Date of Walk: 2 March 2013
- Walk #47 total distance covered: 7.39 miles
- Coast of Britain Walk Total Distance Covered: 382.85 miles
- CLICK HERE FOR LINK TO INTERACTIVE MAP!!!