Letter from Emile Witmeur to Roy Langlois



Letter from Emile Witmeur to Roy Langlois


Letter to Jack Newton's pilot providing more information about the Belgian people who had been involved in the escape line to help his crew. Includes places they stayed and show linkage of the organisation. Includes information on Belgian resistance and escape line and members who had been arrested. He is trying to find out how Langlois was arrested and asks for information about his activities and others in the crew.




Temporal Coverage



Four page handwritten letter


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Liège, August 19th 1945.
My dear Roy,
I have seen a few people since I last wrote to you and I hope that I shall be able to give you soon some information and precisions about your stay in Belgium
I was alerted by Mrs. Christiane Masson, 34 Quai MATIVA, Liège, that three airmen were hidden in the neighbourhood of Liège. She introduced me to Mr. Pierre HACHA, Ingénieur Societé OUGRÉE-MARIHAYE, Ougré – Liège who accompanied me to the villa of Mr. L. FRANÇOIS, BOIS-LE-COMTE, GOMZÉ – ANDOUMONT. I met you there. Hacha was already an old friend of mine but he did not belong to the service. He led the way to Liege with an other boy, GEORGES MARCHAND Ingénieur à Ougrée – Marihaye. OUGRÉE LIÉGE who left you at the entrance of the town. You met with me again and crossed the bridge and we met the man with the French cap, Mr. PAUL DONEUX, 30 RUE LOUIS JAMMES, LIÈGE, and his brother in Law, Mr VANDEWEERT, RUE ALBERT DE CUYCK, LIÈGE. (DONEUX and VANDEWEERT are dead now).
As they were not sure to hold true British, they placed you in the HOTEL DE PROVENCE, rue des GUILLEMINS LIÈGE (the owner has dissappeared [sic]). You were again asked several questions by DOCTOR GILLES, who was shot in 1943 and whose widow lives RUE DES GUILLEMINS 28 in LIÈGE, and DONEUX. They sent a radio in order to check your names. You were O.K. and left the Hotel de Provence. MR. JEAN HUFKENS, Place Saint Paul 7B LIÈGE took you in his home for about a fourtnight. [sic] You were visited there several times by Mr. MONAMI, BOURGMESTRE DE BASSENGE, LIÈGE, whose name in the service was probably GILLES. It is probably this Mr GILLES that you mistake for Doctor GILLES. Mr MONAMI transferred you to Brussels.
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So that if we resume Mrs Masson contacted the crew by me.
François [brackets] Langlois – Newton – Copley [symbol] Hacha – Masson [symbol] Witmeur [symbol] Doctor GILLES [symbol] Paul Doneux
First transfer from the villa: 14th Aug. 1941
Langlois – Newton – Copley [brackets] G. Marchand – P. Hacha [symbol] WITMEUR [symbol] DONEUX + VANDEWEERT [symbol] Doctor GILLES + Hotel de Provence.
Up to now you travel three together.
Then you are separated.
Hotel de Provence [brackets] 1O Langlois – HUFKENS (14 days) – MONAMI
2O Newton – 3O Copley – [brackets] were hidden in two other places. I’ll send you soon the names.
Mr. Monami knows probably the name of the man who was arrested with you. Monami, at that time was the chief of our gang. He passed to England, came back here by parachute and was taken by the Germans in 1942. He was sentenced to death but not executed. He just came back from a concentration camp and is in England for a fourtnight. [sic] I do not know his address there but as he knows your addresses from the papers I sent to the Sureté de l’Etat, it is possible that he will contact you directly. However I shall certainly see him later on. When he was arrested, the crew was taken over by Paul Doneux till the end of the war. I worked with Doneux till April 19th 1942. I intended to go to England and was taken by the G.F.P. an hour before departure with an other agent of the ZERO SERVICE, Mr. Paul POCHET + was kept in Saint GILLES. Mr. Monami was the leader of the service BEAVER-Baton. He has been one of the first to organize the rescue of airmen and was really doing a good job. He is now the President of the POLITICAL PRISONERS for Belgium. I met him once.
From a conversation I had with Mr HUFKENS, you have not been arrested with SCOHIER. The latter was arrested with his father and has come back.
But, a man of our crew, arrested by the Germans has spoken about you and the Germans showed to Hufkens the
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half of the snapshot with your picture that was taken on the rear balcony of the house of Mr. Hufkens. Hufkens never admitted that he knew you.
That man, whose name I shall find is now arrested and in jail in Brussels.
May be that his affair is connected with yours.
Now you can help me also by telling me the date of your unfortunate arrest in Brussels.
About the three other members of your crew, it is funny to say that I traced them in 1941.
Five days after I had transferred you to Doneux. I received information from Ostende via Mr Hacha.
They held three airmen of a Wellington that had crashed near Antwerp.
I thought immediately of your three other fellows and gave the number of the plane Wellington W. 5423 G with your names and the locations of three airfields Syston, Scampton, Swinderby (?). I am not sure of the spelling.
The three others admitted that they were part of your crew and I gave the O.K.
A few days later I received another information concerning three airmen belonging to a Wellington wearing the same number 5423. That time, I thought they were German. They had arrived in the neighbourhood of Brussels. I knew that you were six and not nine. At last, I got the news that the three men in question were the same as before, but they had contacted me through an other channel. What made me think that the world was not so extended. I should like to know something about them. I never saw them but did my best.
I should like to have a photo of you and I hope that you will be able to come once and visit us. It would be swell.
Within a short time I shall send you the results of my inquiry with the names and addresses, and if you come we shall have a meeting. It is already amusing to see the people who have known you at that time. Of course they know ROY. There are so many funny angles that you do not know that I’ll write that when I have more time.
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Now that the censorship is over we can write and it is a good thing.
I hope that you have passed a good V. day and that everything follows according to plan (without joke).
Here it is raining, for a change.
Thanks again to have written.
Yours very sincerely


E V Witmeur, “Letter from Emile Witmeur to Roy Langlois,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed February 27, 2024, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/27324.

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