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Voyage Pays de Galles / Trip to Wales

Mr. Dufrechou

Par admin joseph-saverne, publié le samedi 30 juin 2018 14:30 - Mis à jour le samedi 30 juin 2018 14:30
  • The Biography:


Mr DUFRECHOU is from Cadeillan, a small town in the Gers. When he was young he enjoyed history and geography. His parents were farmers. Mister Dufrechou had to work with his parents on the farm in order to help them, but the problem was that he was bored with that work. His parents did not want him to be a soldier in the French army, but he insisted as he dreamt of traveling around the world (especially going to Madagascar). He even threatened them of going to Algeria if they refused his decision.


Thus, he became a soldier and asked to be in the colonial troops. He spent six months in Fréjus to train. The training consisted in a lot of long walks and shooting targets especially in the fields of Galilée. Finally, he succeeded his exams and finished with quite good grades. After those six months, he was sent to Madagascar by a ship. To go there he had first to go to Marseille so as to continue his voyage by a ship. By the way, this voyage was hard for him, as it lasted long and there were some obstacles like the terrible storms or even the tensions between Egypt and Israel, which prevented them from landing during their passage by the Canal of Suez. He had to sleep in a hammock in the bow of the ship where you feel the waves the most so it was hard to sleep. Over there, the locals are really welcoming even if on the island there is a strong will of being independent from France. He mentioned that he has very good souvenirs from Madagascar. Some time later he had to go to Syrabé, therefore he quitted his work in the infantry and joined the engineering staff, because his work consisted in putting/making mines and dynamites in the fields.

He traveled a lot and worked his way through the grades, he became sergeant. Two years later he was called to go to Algeria during the war as a paratrooper. In 1973, two brigades were created, he was said/advised to join the artillery thus “he was doing his first shots of cannon”. In Laos he was a minesweeper. He was the head of a group of 140 soldiers in “Polynésie” in 1982. He moved to Cambodia in 1993 to clear archaeological and rural areas. He was attacked by a mortar and  2 men were killed by a mine because their lorry went over it. There were also 5 wounded.


At the end of his career he was doing some missions in Israel, for instance he protected the ambassador of France in Israel. Therefore he had to be very attentive especially when they were moving, so he passed a lot of time with the ambassador in order to accompany him. He told that while they were moving with cars they had never stopped even if there were some hindrances on the road, since it would have been the best occasion for the enemy’s snipers to get into action.

 He never thought about deserting because being a soldier was a choice for him and he had to serve and protect his country.


  • Some anecdotes:


-He found a 250 kg bomb right next to a high school

-The minesweepers from Laos were working wearing no more protection than a short and a t-shirt 

- He jumped to over 3600m altitude (because they couldn’t go higher anymore).

-In Madagascar, there were insurrections in the towns when they arrived, so the inhabitants ran away from the town while the chef of the town served them and gave them what they needed.

- Very often they didn’t know where they had to go for missions, so one time they appeared between the frontiers of the URSS and NATO, then he appeared in Tunis.

- In Laos it was difficult to find some food, so he said his friends not to hesitate to eat snakes, while he hates them.

-He has never refused any mission.


  • His advice from his experience:


  • “You have to be very organised and have all your luggage well prepared with all the items that you will need, without forgetting to take one of the most important things : “the souvenirs””
  • “Never dare to think that someone can be fearless, I guarantee you that they do not exist. If soldiers maintain they are not afraid, they are liars”
  • “If you are a soldier, be careful when you write letters to your family or your friends, since they are checked and censored, and if they find something that you hadn’t have to say you will soon be warned by your officers”



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