Move forward to WW2 and all this becomes irrelevant. When it comes to the crunch not even a language barrier can undermine the hard wired memory of an ancient alliance.
Before the holiday was over we visited Swords beach, the site of the British and Canadian D Day landing forces. These days it’s just a beach. The sun sparks of the gently rolling tides and the peace is held by the distant misty grey of a blue, sun drenched early summer day. Standing in the shadow of the memorial to Piper Bill, a girl on a cycle rolls past me down the deserted promenade, the sea to her right and sea front homes on her right. I follow her, watching as she passes the collection of bright white surf board sails and the distant sound of voices.