Blason de Pont-d'Ouilly : “de gueules au pont de trois arches d'or sur une rivière d'azur où nage un poisson aussi d'or, surmonté d'un léopard du même”.
Welcome to Pont-d'Ouilly
Welcome to Pont-d'Ouilly
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Photographic Library - War and Reconstruction

Un peu d'Histoire

The German troops arrive in Pont-d'Ouilly on June 17, 1940. The same day, the marshal Pétain ask for stopping the engagements. The day after, in London, General de Gaulle calls French with Resistance.

In 1944, during the weeks after the D-day, the bridge is the target of the allied planes : on June 8, 14, 17 and on July 5, the bombs miss their goal. On Saturday August 12, they explode the mines posed by the Germans : the two middle arches of the bridge are fully destroyed.

The British troops arrive in Pont-d'Ouilly on August 15; the clearing of the streets is made on August 17 with the bulldozer. The day after, the construction of the Bailey bridge starts : it is open on August 19 and baptized Jacqueline Bridge.

The reconstruction of the bridge starts in June 1947. The Bailey bridge is dismounted on April 8, 1948. May 17, it is the official inauguration by Mr. Marcel Guyon, mayor, assisted of Mrs. Roger Cornu, godmother, and of the abbot Mr. Portier who blesses the construction and the work of the workmen.

With the end of the summer 1944, the extent of the ruins and destruction does not appear immediately. Many houses seems to be reparable and optimism mades hope for a soon and fast reconstruction. The assessment is however very heavy : for Ouilly-the-Basset, 33 houses plus the school and the town hall; for Saint-Marc-d'Ouilly, 7 houses. The classification in the list of the common disaster areas leads thereafter to the expropriation of 7 other buildings.

Parallel to the new town-planning, a regrouping became necessary. Let us add to that administrative worries and the merging of our two old communes, here are the reasons for the delay brought to the first work of reconstruction which will only begin at the end of 1953.

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