Jan Leeming

The official website of Jan Leeming.

Tv & radio interviewer, newsreader, actress, author and voiceover artiste.


Monday, 28 November 2022 19:46

Book Launch of Republication of The Mouchotte Diaries was on Sunday at the  Battle of Britain Memorial at Capel-le-Ferne   Weather was nothing short of foul.  The mist was so thick you couldn’t even see the Memorial.  However there was a good and enthusiastic turn out for my Presentations at 11.00 am and 3.00 pm in which I told the story of my ‘Search for René Mouchotte’ and showed my short documentary on that search shown on the BBC in 2013.  My 15 year Odyssey has culminated in the Re-publication of René’s dairies which were personal and not written for publication but were deemed to contain the heart and soul of a loyal Frenchman fighting for freedom and published in French in 1949 and republished in English in 1956.

This latest version has a Foreword by Lord Peter Ricketts who was British Ambassador to France at the time of presenting his War medals to the Mouchotte family.

Was very proud that the occasion was deemed important enough for the French Attaché Xavier Rival to attend carrying a copy of his Grandfather’s original version.  He also brought a wreath which he had to lay on the Diorama of the site inside the building - you couldn’t even see the Memorial let alone take a photo of it.

Marie Dominique (René’s niece) and her husband Hubert de Lisle came over from France. Also in attendance was Mark Chapman a man I met 10 years ago during my search.  We’d had a coffee and he gave me a copy of his Father’s memoirs.  Mr. Chapman senior was groundcrew and worked with René Mouchotte of whom he thought most highly - he was strict but kind and generous.  Because of my connection to Pen and Sword, I recommended the work to the company and his memoirs will be published next year.

Another touch of Serendipity was that Hubert de Lisle had met Mr. Chapman senior and knew of correspondece between him and Jacqueline Quentin Mouchotte - René’s sister.  He offered to share his memories with Mark Chapman - so the story hasn’t ended yet.