Guillaume Lecerf

Guillaume Lecerf was born on 6th July 1974 in Flers in the South of Normandy.

His parents were born just after the second world war (1949) and his grandparents were born just after the first world war (around 1920).

He has heard many stories from those times. His grandfather on his mother’s side, Gaston Leperlier, lost both his parents at an early age. They died prematurely in 1940 when his grandfather was only 18 and he was left to face the responsibility of the family farm they owned with his two little sisters who were only 15 and 16 at the time. He was exempt from his military service and stayed on the farm which was just next to the chateau of the poupeliere in the village of Ste Honorine la Chardonne (61).

During the war, his grandfather knew a member of the resistance who gave him important papers and information to look after but his grandfather, Gaston, didn’t realize what they were. This could have caused big trouble for him but he did it without knowing the importance of what he was doing.

On 6th June he wrote in his small diary one line concerning the landing of the Allies. I don’t know if he realized the significance of this event or if he was more concerned with the everyday problems of his farm but it doesn’t seem to be very important in that diary.

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At the end of the war, in August 1944, some German soldiers took 2 horses from him to go to the battle in Falaise. Afterwards, when he knew that it was the end of the war, he tried to bring the horses back to the farm but he was unsuccessful.

On 19th August 1944 he welcomed the Allies with their tanks in front of the chateau.

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In 1946 a German prisoner, Herbert Seel, who was forced to serve France was assigned to his grandfather’s farm and stayed there for 3 years. He arrived in France in 1939 at the age of 18. This German soldier was very nice and got along well with his grandparents.  Once he even saved their son ‘s life when at the age of three he fell into a manure pit. Herbert could have been freed for this good deed but he didn’t tell anyone about it until many years later.

The German prisoner, Herbert Seel wanted to stay on in France but this was a very complicated time for the Germans. He did, however, continue to write letters for many years to Guillaume Lecerf’s grandparents, like this one here:

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His paternal grandfather Armand Lecerf was a prisoner in Germany but he managed to escape.

He stayed for a short time in Germany and then made it to Belgium. In Germany he had a relationship with a young German woman but never told anyone about her.

When he returned to France, he met Guillaume’s grandmother but the German woman did come to France because she was pregnant and hoped to reconcile with Guillaume’s grandfather. She was stopped by his grandfather’s sister who had no sympathy for the situation at all and told the young woman to go back in Germany. Of course, this story was taboo and only a few people knew about it.  His grandfather, Armand never knew that the German woman had travelled to France and had his child.

Initially, Guillaume Lecerf studied foreign languages (English, German and Italian) in France and also in Germany where he spent one year as part of his degree in Bavaria as an Erasmus student.

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In 1996 he returned to Caen to pass his master’s degree.

After his studies, he had the opportunity to work for the Olympic committee during the summer of the Olympics Games in Atlanta (Georgia, USA) .  It was four months of very enjoyable work experience.

Coming back to France, he tried to find the best way to spend time abroad in a country where he could practice and improve his English

That’s how he came to take his car across the Channel to arrive in the beautiful city of Cambridge, where he already had connections. After only one week he got a job in a nice 4-star hotel as a linen keeper. He learnt a lot because he had to communicate with all the different departments of the hotel and restaurant as well as the two different laundries he was working with.

A year later, he had to return to France to do his military service.  He completed it at a school in a challenging area where he helped pupils who had problems with attendance. He also helped pupils with mobility issues to get around the school.

Before joining the staff of Overlordtour, he worked in many different areas from hospitality to manufacturing and later in the building industry.

Guillaume Lecerf is thrilled to have the opportunity to welcome guests to the best of his abilities in the same way others did for him when he was abroad. His objective is that every tourist coming to Normandy will return home with a lasting impression of Normandy and its people.