The Royal British Legion Branch of Colston Bassett, Owthorpe & Cotgrave

The Royal British Legion Branch of Colston Bassett, Owthorpe & Cotgrave


'In the Wake of the Cockleshell Heroes'

An illustrated talk by

Roger and Sandra Downton

Their voyage, and the history of Operation Frankton

Wednesday 24TH April 7pm at The  Colston Bassett Village Hall

  • Tickets £10 in advance
  • Licenced Bar
  • Hearty Spring Buffet & Pudding
  • Charity Raffle


A thrilling talk by a daring couple, as featured on BBC TV. This is the true wartime story of a courageous World WarII commando attack by canoe on enemy shipping in the docks of Bordeaux, and is cleverly interwoven with the present day escapade by Roger and Sandra Downton. Armed with very little canoeing experience and a waterproof navigation chart, they survived the many moody swings of the giant, rapid flowing waters of the River Gironde. They paddled the seventy five mile exact course of this dangerous mission, camping rough on the banks of the muddy river.

Their nostalgic and engaging presentation creates a dramatic, absorbing and respectfully light-hearted account of their challenging canoe adventure paddling in the wake of the legendary Cockleshell Heroes – Operation Frankton.

Their talk is punctuated with unpredictable and amusing scenarios; your imagination will be fired as you share their chilling and humorous moments.

Roger Downton served with the Royal Green Jackets before embarking upon a career in acting and stand-up comedy. He later formed his own film company at Shepperton Studios and for six years performed his unique cabaret act aboard world cruise liners before meeting his future wife Sandra, a dance teacher and highly acclaimed Belly Dancer. They are both seasoned performers and members of both British Equity and The Speakers Agency.

During Roger’s formative years he was extremely interested and enthusiastic about the Cockleshell Heroes of World War II Operation Frankton. Combined with Sandra’s subsequent fascination with the subject, they unanimously decided to accept the challenge, and make the same gruelling and perilous journey by canoe down the giant flowing River Gironde to the docks at Bordeaux as their personal tribute to those brave men.

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