So, yesterday I shared with you a little history about the introduction of this little Italian macaron to France. This morning, I woke up from dreaming about my macaron dough resting in the fridge, thinking of Amiens for an entirely different reason all together.
Amiens holds a special place in my family’s history, as it does no doubt for many others. Watching Michael Matthews race with the ANZAC armband and a painful set of broken ribs I was reminded why this part of the French countryside was so special, and what these modern day road warriors share in common with the men who have bled into the same countryside before them.
I visited Amiens in 2007 with my family. We were looking a war memorial dedicated to the 7th Battalion of the Royal Sussex Regiment – of which my grandfather was part. In May of 1940 he was one of only 70 soldiers of an almost 600 man strong battalion who survived a major assault from Major General Rommel’s 7th Panzer Division at St Roche. His battalion fighting with courage and tenacity to defend the town of Amiens.
My grandfather survived, to be captured along with 69 others of his Battalion and spent the remainder of his war in a POW camp in Poland, before undertaking The Long March back to Germany for repatriation at the end of the war.
The town of Amiens is warmly welcoming to families of those men who put their lives on the line defending them throughout the duration of both the First and Second World Wars. The people of Amiens and its surrounds are custodians of so many of our loved ones, from all over the Commonwealth that our countries seem irrevocably linked.
It seems a small thing for me to be able to make these delectable Amiens Macarons in their honour.
Lest We Forget