About The Seven Men

John Henry Speight. Essex Regiment.

John Henry Speight was born into a fairly prosperous artisan family in 1907, The family at the time of his birth lived in part of what had originally been the house of the lord of the Manor. However by the end of the nineteenth century it had been divided into two dwellings and the front part had had large shop window put into the front wall…

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Harry Polson Essex Regiment.

In India Harry met a lad from Dedham, having links to Dedham through his paternal grandfather he was happy to chat and form a friendship. Sonny suggested his older sister, correspond with him whilst he was in India and Emily was away from home in service. On demob leave Harry spent time at Sonny’s family’s house. Harry met Emily they got engaged and were married on the 30-11-1935, with Sonny as their best man…

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Robert Lacoche.

There is some documentary evidence that Eloi had several affairs with young ladies in the house where he was lodging during his absence away from his wife and children who lived on a small holding in Fesmy – a small village close to Cattilon. The children were obviously torn between the mother and father with Felicien being favoured over Robert…

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Pierre Prunier.

The Prunier family was one of the most influential and prosperous in Saint Laurent sur Saone: For several generations Prunier had been the largest cheese wholesaler in the department; collecting and distributing the fine mountain cheeses of the Savoy and Jura. It has been said that it is impossible to govern a country with hundreds of cheeses…

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Sékou Diouf.

Research is ongoing at the moment. The war diaries of the colonial regiments were destroyed after the defeat and the progress of the research will depend upon the officers’ notes which exist at Vincennes. Mr Alain Barrault has generously offered to seek out the information in the next month.

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The Corsican Engineer.

Unknown soldier. Member of Pierre Prunier’s Reconnaissance section.

This soldier is entirely unknown. It is deduced from the place where his body was found that he was the soldier in charge of the bridge demolition. Prunier’s section is shown in the Short History of The French Army Units 1940 in 3 Vols pp 704-705 (Histoire Succinte des Grands Unités 3 Vol); it was given the task on the 10th June 1940 of doing an advanced reconnaissance as far as Pont-de-l’Arche and destroying any facilities likely to be of use to the enemy.