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Postwar statement written by the local head of resistance

I, Mr. Lefebvre Alderson, residing at 59176 Masny, 8 rue de Thourotte, Lieutenant of reserve and retired Warrant Officer, pension no. 52 000 639, and resistance leader in Camblain-Châtelain until the Liberation day, certify on honor the following:

On May 22, 1944, in the afternoon a RAF fighter was shot down over the territory of Camblain-Châtelain.

The pilot, Mr. Zenon Bartkowiak, alias Charly Armiger, was rescued by a local resistance fighter Mr. Michel Salmon, currently living in Auchel, 232 rue Roger Salengro.

Between that date (May 22, 1944) and September 3, 1944, day of the village liberation, Mr. Bartkowiak in collaboration with the Camblain-Châtelain resistance group participated in various operations on the territory of the village and surroundings, and particularly on September 3, 1944, when together with a unit of the British Army he attacked and damaged a German battery of three 155 mm guns installed on the side of the Pernes-Camblain road.

It should be underlined that the presence and action of Mr. Bartkowiak was crucial not only for the success of the operation but also for the survival of the British soldiers.

Indeed, having learned that this unit is coming from Cauchy-a-la-Tour, heading through Camblain to Pernes en Artois, and that it could be under fire of German machine guns positioned near Camblain, Mr. Bartkowiak came to the unit's commander and told him about the presence of German forces. An operation was then developed by the resistance group and its result was the defeat of the Germans: 8 killed, 16 prisoners and three artillery guns.

I believe that the presence of Mr. Bartkowiak was of paramount importance in these circumstances and it is difficult to imagine what an obstacle these guns could have been for the advancing allied troops.

Written in Masny on January 28, 1974

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