Apart from the lookouts and the two guarding the prisoners, the whole village met in the school to discuss the invasion and how much longer the war would take.
So far they had not been bothered by any Germans, but Simon knew someone would come sniffing around at some stage.
"We really have to be very vigilant, we must be the only bit of Belgium not under German control and I have a feeling they will cotton on soon and we can expect visitors and because they know they are losing the war they won’t be coming with flowers. I'm sorry, but we will have to be prepared to fight, but at least we have something to fight with. We also need to contact Chiny and Suxy villages and find out if there is an underground movement in either of them and if there is and they are active we should join them. My guess is that the Resistance will become very active sabotaging anything they can blow up soon."
Simon already knew that tons of supplies and agents had been dropped all over German occupied Europe and the various Resistance movements would be planning their various attacks against the enemy. Many of course would be caught and hundreds would be tortured then shot. Lowifontaine village was also at great risk should the German's realise the locals were in control and take the village back, that is why Simon wanted to contact the other villages to see if they could join forces and support one another.
Andrew had not been able to sleep that well what with the demands of work and the biggest worry of all, not knowing about Simon and now that the cottage looked like a bomb site itself because of the work it was going through, there was nowhere to sleep properly anyway.
"You are coming to stay with me Andrew until the work is finished, no arguing and if you do I will take the loan back."
Andrew and Trevor Watson were having a pint together.
"You look knackered Andrew. Look, we can empty the cottage and store everything in my garage and then you can move in with me for the month or as long as it takes to finish the work."
"I can’t do that Trevor, it will disrupt you no end." It was a pathetic excuse and Andrew knew it.
"I live alone since Mary died, there are four bed rooms and try as I might I can only sleep in one at a time, besides it will be lovely to have company for a change. We will start tomorrow, I have just made your mind up. Your round and mines a double whisky, if there is any."
It was all very sensible really and after spending half a day emptying his cottage he moved in with Trevor. Andrew could now have a decent sleep, once he was able to drop off that is. It also did both him and Trevor the world of good giving one another company. They soon got into a routine every evening sitting in the lounge with a drink and both of them winning the war over and over again.
"It won’t be long now Trevor, the Allies have landed and it surely can’t go on for much longer and maybe then I will find out what happened to Simon. Strange isn't it, I don't know if I am getting the cottage done up so I can grieve in it or welcome Simon back home."
As the Allies advanced so did the 4th Medical Corps after Caen had fallen. They were never that far from the front line and most of the time they would be operating on the wounded whilst listening to the sounds of battle 2 or 3 miles ahead of them. Now that the Allies had a firm foothold in France movement of the wounded was much better and getting them to an airfield to evacuate them back home had become much easier. There was also a need for a doctor to go forward with a team of medics to treat the most seriously wounded "on site" as it were. Tony volunteered to be one of those teams and he and three other men loaded up a Bren gun carrier equipped with all that they would need to give better medical aid. Two jeeps kitted out with stretchers would go with them and bring the wounded out. It was an extremely good provision and many more lives were saved that way, but it was also very dangerous in that they were much closer to the fighting and many from their Corp and other Corps had been killed when they got caught up in the action.
"Take care Tony please, just keep out of trouble won't you."
"Simon didn't and you never know, if something happens to me we could be back together again." Alan looked at him and made up his mind he should say what had been on his mind for ages now. He thought that Tony would know anyway, but now he was going to the front line, he was going to tell him and at least he would know of Alan's feelings even if it would come to nothing between them.
"I just want you to know that Simon is not the only man who loves you and I am convinced he could not love you more than I do. I'm sorry, but I needed to say that. IF we find ourselves alone after the war is over I just want you to know how I feel. I will never put pressure on you, but I just want you to know that you need never be alone and I PROMISE you I would never try and take Simon's place."
Tony stood looking at Alan and knew he would be a wonderful man to be with, quite apart from his good looks he was one of the most genuine and sincere men he had ever met.
"Alan, if I do find myself alone, it will take some time for me to work out what I want and where I will be. The first thing I will have to do is let Simon go first and God knows how long that will take and in any case I first have to find out whether he is still alive or not, but thank you for telling me that and your honesty."
Axel and two of the other younger men, all of whom had been victims of Albrecht's sick mind, managed to get to Chiny and Suxy to find out if they operated a Resistance group, but even though they had a much larger population than Lowifontaine the Nazi's had 100 men guarding each village and it was impossible for them to even think about any actions against the invaders. Even going to the villages was risky and they could only meet in the fields to talk. However, they knew that groups operated in Mons and Liege and that's where they went next to find support.
It would take two months before they could make contact, but after a trust was built up several men and women of the Resistance groups from both Mons and Liege showed up and met with Simon, Axel and all the other young men who had been under the control of Albrecht's sick mind, as well as the senior men of the village to discuss what could be done to take the fight to the enemy.
The one thing that the visitors had not known of course was Lowifontaine had the occupying Germans prisoner and this was a great opportunity to move weapons and resistant fighters to the village not only to defend the village, but to plan sabotage attacks against the railway, telephone lines and any other targets like German troop quarters when the Allies got closer. The weapons would be moved first and buried in the fields and when the time was right bring in more fighters to join those already in the village.
Lowifontain now had an additional 30 from the other towns and villages making a force of 60 men and women, well-armed and committed to take their country back and were prepared to die to remove the filth.
Just before they left Simon asked if a message could be sent to England to inform them that he was alive and to let his father know. "Is that possible?"
"We will do that my friend, it’s the least we can do, but we have to be very careful when we send and how we send it. You understand your father cannot be told where you are and what you are doing."
"Of course and thanks, but please don't put yourself in any danger doing it please."
"We will be fine." Simon was beginning to learn that the Resistance movements throughout Europe must be at a pretty high level of competence and communication between the various groups and London was also very well organized. There would of course be set backs and that would become apparent well after the war and it would be recognised, eventually, that without these groups many more Allied troops would have died and even the war could have been prolonged.
Steven sat in what used to be Simon's office and smiled as he put the phone down. He jumped up and ran around like a demented Lieutenant Commander who had just been told Simon was alive. Well he had by Captain Osborne who had just been told by a friend in the Admiralty.
He ran out and screamed out for all the crews to get to the crew room. He stood in front of them and could hardly contain himself.
"The skipper is ALIVE!"
The whole lot got up and for some reason congratulated one another! It was a happy day and made even better when a certain Sub Lieutenant Robin Miller knocked on Steven's door.
"Come in if you’re handsome!" Robin opened the door and stuck his head round it.
"I am and you will!"
"I will what?"
"Cum in?" Simon got up and went to meet the lovely Robin and kissed him.
"Your place or mine?" Steven had found his love.
Andrew and Trevor stood outside the cottage and agreed it was looking very good.
"Those dormers look amazing and when the roof is thatched it will bring the cottage into the 19th century at last. What do you think Trevor?"
"Looks good Andrew and it’s the 20th century by the way. Is that your phone?"
"It can wait, I need a pint, your round I think."
"It could be news about Simon Andrew?" They went in and Andrew picked it up.
"Thanks operator, put him through."
"Lieutenant Commander Walsh?"
"Yes, I'm Walsh."
"I am Commander Forester speaking from the Admiralty..."
Trevor watched as Andrew listened to the caller and saw the tears streaming down his face. He went and got a chair and pushed it under his bum. He watched Andrew's face, this was either good or bad news, but could not make out which it was. Andrew put the phone down and he looked up at Trevor, but could not focus, not that it mattered.
"He is alive Trevor! Simon... is... alive!"
They eventually got to the pub and celebrated with the rest of the village men who happened to be in. Women were not welcome in the public bar of pubs in those days and if they did go, they would have to sit in the Bottle and Jug while their men got pissed and they would take them home afterwards and pour them into bed.
"Andrew, if we don't go home soon I will have to give myself a bank loan to pay for the next round. Come on my friend we have a whisky waiting."
They took the long route home, but only because neither of them could walk straight and staggered all over the road which for Andrew was a big problem as his artificial leg would not keep up, but at last they got there and Andrew flopped into his arm chair.
"Right Andrew me old mate, single or double?"
"Single." Trevor poured trebles and also fell into his chair.
"Cheers Andrew and cheers to Simon as well." Andrew raised his glass and took a sip.
"Yes old chap, how can I help?"
"What do you think about homosexuals?" Choke!
The very much alive Simon was sitting on his bed with Axel and three of the other young men who were sitting on the floor and had also been forced to perform for the Gestapo fuckwit who was now in a cell with the lower ranks who had taken turns in fucking him. It seems they too hated the low life.
"So General do you think we are ready?"
"Oh yes, well I think so, I just want the Allies to get closer and then we can get involved. You lads want your country to be free of this shit and I want to get back to mine. I just hope my father knows I am still alive and I hope Tony gets to know that as well." The villagers had elevated him as leader and he wished he wasn't. He just wanted this to finish and find Tony, but he had to focus otherwise he could fuck up and they would all be in trouble.
"Simon, we know you are our leader and we know you wished you weren't. We all know you don't want to fuck up and want to finish this so you can find Tony, but just focus for a little while longer and we WILL have our country back and then you can go back to yours." Simon looked at Marcel and smiled at him.
"You have been reading this fucking story haven't you?"
"Story? What story? I am just a mind reader."
"Anything else in my mind you can read?"
"Like?" Marcel thought for a while and smiled.
"You want us to lay you down on your bed and undress you and then all four of us will lick and suck your whole body until you scream out to fuck us and while you are fucking us, you want Axel to fuck you and while he is we will all cum over your face and lovely body as Axel cums inside you." Simon looked at them all as they expectantly smiled back at him.
The church bell rang out and he was actually quite pleased that the Germans seemed to have turned up!
The village was on a higher level than the surrounding fields and there was a clear view all around them from the church tower which included the narrow lane that lead into the village and out again.
As rehearsed time and time again the village took up positions and waited for Simon to signal for them to open fire when, and if he did.
Within two minutes he was peering over the low wall in the bell tower and saw a car with an officer and driver and an open lorry with ten troops.
Simon signalled to the others he was coming back down and hid waiting for the enemy to drive into the village.
The car came to a halt followed by the lorry. They sat there and must have wondered why the street was empty, not a sole about. Simon looked on as the officer got out of his car and ordered his men out of the lorry.
Simon smiled as Axel came out of his house dressed in his Gestapo shit and watched as the officer came to attention followed by his men and shouted, "Hail Hitler!"
Axel went towards the officer followed by the ten villagers dressed as German soldiers and the next thing they knew was a machine gun was pointing at each one of them. Axel got in front of the officer and said, in German of course, "Welcome to free Belgium! If just one of you goes for his weapon, you will all be shot." He raised his right arm and middle finger. "Fuck Hitler!" Simon came out of hiding and joined the happy bunch.
"Hello chaps, lovely day for being captured."
They crammed them in with the other prisoners after forcing them to undress to their underpants and then off loaded the lorry which had a load of food and weapons plus ammunition. This little band of Germans were only passing through it seemed and not there to check the village out.
"What on earth do you mean what do I think about homosexuals? I have no idea, don't know any."
"How do you know you don't? I shouldn't imagine they go about with their dicks hanging out."
"Not really thought about it Andrew, why are you one?" Trevor burst out laughing then stopped when Andrew didn't join in.
"No, but I have been reading about Oscar Wilde and what he went through because of what he was and even though he had three trials, he was never convicted of homosexuality, but gross indecency and got two years. He died shortly after he was released, he was ruined and everyone turned their backs on him. I know he was a pseudo aristocrat and lived above his station of those times, but my word he was ground in the dirt by the Marquis of Queensbury because his son was Wilde's lover."
"So where is all this going?"
"I just wonder what right anyone has to condemn two males simply because they have a different sexual preference and could in fact be in love. I came across two ratings on my ship during our war who were engaged in a physical act, they did not see me and I got the hell out of the chain locker where I had seen them. I never did say anything because I knew them as good sailors before I caught them and after. What I am saying is, if I had not caught them my opinion would not be less about them as sailors or decent men."
"Queensbury? Didn't he make the rules up for boxing?"
"Yes and he was a complete shit, a dreadful man apparently and if I had the choice of being a friend of him or his son, I would choose the son." There was a long silence. Trevor was wondering why Andrew had bought this up.
"If you are telling me Simon is homosexual and Tony is as well because they are so close, well my friend I have no opinion whatsoever! I had a nine month fling myself with a chap at my University and will never regret it. There Andrew what do you say to that!?"
"I'm going to lock my bedroom door!"
By now it was February 1944, none of them knew it then, but there was just three months of war left and they were about to begin their own contribution in Germany's defeat. The Allies knew the end was near and all Resistance groups had been contacted asking for maximum effort and those 60 in Lowifontain were more than ready. They had already planned their targets and when to carry them out. They would be split into three groups and attack simultaneously on as many nights as they thought would be safe enough to carry them out.
During all the planning Simon came to realise nothing was agree until he did. He was really uncomfortable about it and asked Axel, "Why?"
"I am SO sorry Simon. I told them all about your magnificent cock and those wonderful bollocks of yours and as they are all homosexual they thought you are the only man to lead us."
"You fucking prick!" But he was not exactly put out as he had warmed to the whole village and felt well and truly a part of them.
Tony was exhausted, it had been nonstop since he and other units had arrived just behind the ever moving front line and now, right on it. However, there was one big difference, a large number of the wounded were German, they were surrendering in droves and after treatment sent to POW holding camps. They had now crossed into Belgium and were heading south at a steady rate. He and the main field hospital had separated as Tony's group were sent to cover several miles of the front line.
He and his small band of men would grab what sleep they could and then go back out again. On this particular occasion there was a hell of a fight going on ahead of them, they knew a small group had been cut off and by the radio talk coming back four were badly injured and in urgent need of medical help. Tony went to see the CO and he agreed to send down massive covering fire which saw Tony and his driver, Charlie Spencer going as fast as they could while bullets pinged off the carrier. They arrived and got to work on the four men and after more covering fire they did the return trip.
This is just one brief account of many hundreds like it and that's why many Military Crosses and Military Medals were awarded to the various medical corps during the war in all theatres.
Simon took his turn on patrol with a group of ten. Five went off in one direction and his in another. They had got a mile from the village to an area that dropped down and was one of the few places that could not be seen from the church tower and it was a good hiding place to observe from. They got to it and finding nothing Simon posted a lookout and had a break, they would not go further and would go back to the village shortly afterwards.
They just chatted away, but all of them were mainly thinking about that night when they were all going out to attack three different targets. Two attacks on rail lines a mile apart from one another and blowing up telegraph poles at different locations. The captured German lorry with five men on board would drive to within 300 yards of a barracks a mile from Mons and mortar bomb it. This was by far the most dangerous of the attacks, but if it went off well it would leave the Germans thinking that Allied units were much nearer than they thought.
Simon just wandered around absent mindedly kicking the ground and thinking about Tony and hoping his was safe when his foot hit something that made him look down. It was a hand.
An hour later they uncovered the bodies of four British soldiers still in their uniforms and each with a gunshot to the head.
They had been executed.
They returned to the village and Simon sent a party out with the doctor who would examine the bodies and bring them back for burial in the church cemetery. These had all been young men who had been "chosen" by Albrecht to perform for him. They had not been sent to POW camp after all and Simon now knew this would also have happened to him.
At a meeting the whole village agreed they wanted all the prisoners shot and Simon found himself on his own, even Axel was against Simon and was one of the most vocal in demanding the deaths of the prisoners.
"I will not be a party to a lynch mob. That man and those who killed the soldiers will face a court and will be hung, but I am not his judge and certainly not his executioner, I know I can’t stop you from killing them on my own, but if you do I will get out and try and join up with my forces. If you carry out an execution of these people, you will be no better than they are. Let’s just concentrate on what we are about to do, please."
That seemed to satisfy them although Simon was convinced someone would get to Albrecht and those who had guarded and abused them for two years. They reluctantly agreed to let them live and focused on that nights operations, the Hun were about to get a kicking.
Simon sat in his room with Axel.
"He would have killed everyone in the village you know that don't you Axel?"
"I'm sure of it and I think he gets as much pleasure killing as he did watching men have sex." There was nothing to laugh about, but Axel came close to it when he gave a half smile.
"We stopped him carrying out more evil Simon and its quite possible we saved the whole village by doing what we did, pity in one way though. You never made full love to me, still there is always time."
How easy it would have been for Simon to do just that, but he was still hanging on hoping that he and Tony would both come through and get back together and start to get to know one another again.
Simon led the attack on the barracks and after 20 minutes of bombing from the three motors and four heavy machine guns they got back into the captured German lorry having delivered their attack from the captured German weapons leaving the barracks in a mess and many of Hitler's youth, dead.
They went out two more times attacking other targets one of which was a small convoy and after they had finished with it, it would no longer be of any use to the mighty Third Reich. After the last attack the Germans caught on and began to search village by village, but at the same time retreating from the advancing Allies. Lowifontaine was about to meet them.
The church bell rang out and did not stop, telling them all this was a big force coming towards the village. Simon got to the bell tower and looked through binoculars and saw the two armoured assault trucks with their 30mm guns and 10 troop carriers with 20 troops in each and four supply lorries. In the front was a staff car with three officers.
There was a mad rush as everyone got into position and waited for Simon. He would stay in the tower with a rifle and fire on the officers in the car and as soon as he did the rest would open fire, two MG 34 machine guns were also in the tower.
Four MG 42's plus two Bren guns and four 3 inch mortars as well as 20 riflemen were in position and would give massive fire power. However, they were against seasoned troops and a lot more of them. Surprise and the first couple of minutes or so would make the difference.
On the German's right was a steep bank, not high, but nothing could get up it and when the convoy was passing that point, that's when Simon would open fire. The villagers were dug in and hidden opposite the bank at no more than 50 yards. He looked through his telescopic sight and aimed at the officer sitting at the back, officers always sat there.
What followed was nothing more than a massacre as every weapon opened up and Simon stood there looking on as many men died and what for? Well, in a nut shell, to stop themselves from being massacred. Not one of the enemy survived.
It took the rest of the day clearing the lane of bodies, burying them and pulling the trucks off the lane. They salvaged all they could and by the end of the day had even more weapons to fight with. They just hoped the British would get there before they had to use them again. Apart from lookouts they all met in the school and talked about what would happen next, they knew the Germans would be back. In the end they agreed all they would do is defend the village and not carry out any more sabotage operations, just wait to be either liberated or continue to defend themselves. The news coming through told them it would not be long now and they estimated the British were no more than 10 miles away. They sent out four men to go and find out and tell the army Lowifontaine was free of Germans.
Simon got them into even more defensive positions with their new weapons and man everyone them round the clock. It was just as well as two days later a large group of Germans were spotted heading their way.
Tony and his small group of medics were told to pack up and rejoin his group and the following day moved out with a company of infantrymen as soon as the sun came up. He could not wait to see Alan again and wondered if he was safe. He and his group had been under fire many times now and it was a relief that they would travel in comparative safety. They were about three days from the 4th Medical Corps and as he travelled Simon was about to engage in his last act of the war.
Tony had no idea of course he was getting closer all the time to Simon and it was hardly surprising the only person on his mind was Alan. He had thought a great deal about Simon and hoped and prayed he was still alive, but was not at all confident now that he was. All he could do was hope and wait and asked himself over and over again what he would do if he found out that Simon was indeed dead and could not help thinking that Alan would always be there for him. He already knew he was very fond of Alan, not in love with him, but that COULD change, in time?
Simon and Axel were in the church tower and estimated there were 300 German soldiers coming towards them with no more than their own weapons and no heavy guns.
"I am bloody sure this lot are looking to surrender." Simon looked at Axel and smiled at him. "It’s nearly over Axel. I will soon be free to find Tony."
Simon shrugged his shoulders, he was tired and wished this would end, he was not feeling that well either and was sure he had a temperature.