Charles and Celestine Kremer (Helpers)
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From Michael Moores LeBlanc:|
Here are a few additional clues and details about Kenneth Lorch in his
own hand and in the 'official version'. It appears he was arrested either in
or near Bordeaux with a helper. No doubt there is an interesting story here
behind how this would have come about. I wonder how many other POWs must
have a similar trail of helpers and who came within miles of freedom before
In addition, I am attaching a page from the file Maurice Piens, a member of
the Felix line with connections in Liege. On this page, you will note the
mention of both Bailey and Quinn as well as Ken Lorch. The passage
'roughly' translates as follows: "Lorch & King* were recovered and in
company of 'Felix' at the home of a woman from Hasselt in Brussels.
Sheltered for four days by Mme Marthe Ottevere and transferred to Mouscon by
Piens to the home of Mr Dearousseaux for passage of the frontier on 13
November 1943. Incidentally, Wilf Gorman, RCAF, the man next on the list
after Lorch, is an old friend of mine. His route followed that of Lorch's
almost exactly. I have his account in great detail.. He was later captured
in the Pyrenees in the same group, if I recall correctly, as MacDonald and
I know, from my studies of the Felix Line, that it was beset by financial
woes about this time and several of it's airmen in Paris were stranded there
for some time before being transferred to the Comete or Burgundy Lines or to
the FanFan Line in Brittany for sea evacuation.
According to AFEES 'Blue Book', Lorch's traveling companion, Ernest C.
King of the 381 BG ,was shot down 17 August 1943. He evaded capture by the
Germans for 9 months in Belgium and France but was captured trying to cross
into Switzerland. He later published a book about his life in the military
entitled, 'Beyond Fantasy'.
I am also attaching, excerpts from the Helper Award file for, Celestine
Kremer, the widow of Charles Cremer (see mention in evasion Line history).
You will note these people helped other 100 BG fellows, Claytor and Nutting.
The Kremers were members of the following resistance groups: Service Bayard,
the MNB/Movement National Belge and the FI/Front d l'independence.
Casualty Information: Antoine Wagner, arrested (with us) by the Germans on
11 December 1943, was known by the name of Peter Royce.
The Remarks section translates 'roughly' as follows:
" ... My husband, Charles Kremer and I were arrested on 11 December 1943,
for having been guilty of sheltering nd repatriating allied airmen. We
worked in various resistance groups. We served as a 'Letter-Box' for the
Bayard Group (an Intelligence organization that also helped evaders). We
began our resistance activity in 1941 and this ended in December 1943. My
husband was shot by the Germans on the 26th of January 1944. I was released
on 88 May 1944 but kept under surveillance until the departure of the
occupying authorities. The Germans took 210,000 francs in value from us in
the form of linens, clothing, silver (could mean money) and movable
I have included a sheet that deals with a subject often found in the files
of helpers who had been arrested - compensation by allied authorities. In
addition to this 'one time financial settlement' Mme Kremer was probably
eligible to a form of compensation by the Belgian government as well as a