WW2 veteran British paratrooper from Operation Dragoon Peter Matthews, meets the “boy” he gave chocolate to, for the first time since 15th August 1944.
On the 15th of August 1944 Peter Matthews was making his way to the main crossroads by the River Nartuby in Le Muy, Southern France. He had been ordered down from the hill overlooking the town with “Spike” Nolan and a couple of other members of 4th Battalion C Company to assess the strength of the German force holding this important crossroads. On his way down the plan was to follow the course of the river along to the bridge over the river by the crossroads. Helping the paratroopers find the best way down was a young local man Jean Galli. On the way down they passed a farm and a young boy, Maurice Toselo, ran out and stumbled across the British Paratroopers.
Peter Matthews said “I thought to myself, I hope he doesn’t shout ‘cos he’ll give our position away and we’ll all be dead ‘cos the Germans were nearby. The only thing I could think of was to give him my chocolate ration and hope he would go back into the farmhouse. Luckily for us he did just that.”
The paratroopers hid by the bridge over the Nartuby and awaited their chance to take the crossroads which had been an important objective of the whole operation.
Peter Matthews added “I have been returning to Le Muy since the 50th Anniversary of Operation Dragoon and I’ve become friends with Jean Galli, we always have a drink together each year, but to meet the boy I gave chocolate to is incredible. Of course after 66 years Maurice is not looking so young now but he’s still that boy in my memories and talking with him brought back the memory of that morning in 1944. How lucky we are to be alive”