Benjamin Canayer was born on 26th August 1998. After a literary diploma he studied History, specializing in modern history and the aftermath of WWII.
At the end of his studies, he became a project leader for the city of Saint-Jouin-Bruneval and organized the 80th anniversary of the Bruneval Raid in June 2022. He led a project to create a unique full-scale replica of a British landing craft from WWI and oversaw the festivities. For his contribution, he received two medals from the British embassy and the Bruneval Company.
Benjamin grew up in Le Havre, a city where the memories of the Liberation were painful and raw. He quickly became fascinated by the remains of bunkers he saw all over the city and started asking questions. As a kid he would play with the old family gas mask and helmet and, naturally inquisitive, he began reading documents and listening to stories from his elders.
He can trace his family history right back to a grenadier from the Imperial Guard of Napoleon; veterans of the last campaign of the Empire. Some say that the rheumatism in his family comes directly from Moscow.
His great great grandfather was Captain Isidore Cahierre, who died from a bullet in the head at La Haute Chevauchée, near Verdun in July 1915.
Jane Dom was Benjamin’s great great grandmother. On the first day of World War I, she became a volunteer nurse at the Red Cross in Le Havre, healing the wounded soldiers throughout the war. She kept a daily diary, writing her thoughts and feelings of this time. At the end of the war, she founded an association for the wounded soldiers who had been blinded by the gas. This association still exists today and continues its work helping the blind.