I’m not sure whether I’ve written about this before or not. I haven’t managed to find any references to my blogs when I looked on Google.
A couple of years ago I was looking at the back of a postcard and saw a reference to a French submarine sinking in 1939 a few weeks before the outbreak of war. One of the officers was a young man from La Rochelle and I discovered that just before the submarine set off for the last time the dog that lived on the submarine ran off and two of the crew went after it (fortunately for them). ‘How strange’ , I thought, ‘a dog on a submarine’.
I’ve recently had a new pupil who is half English. Her mother married a French submariner and came to live in France. She never spoke to her daughter in English, hence the lessons. During the war this submarine fought alongside the allies and many of the crew married English and Scottish girls. My pupil explained that submarines had dogs as mascots. Not very hygienic in such a confined space but the dogs would collapse before men if there were problems with the air supply.
I wonder if the dog who ran away sensed something.