Welsh family learns more about WWII ambush 74 years later - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Welsh family learns more about WWII ambush 74 years later

Demarest family Demarest family
WELSH, LA (KPLC) -

A Welsh family that didn't know much about the death of an uncle during World War 2... has just returned from Europe with a better idea of what happened.

In August 1944, Welsh native Tousin Demarest was killed when he and 9 other soldiers were ambushed in Dreux, France. Not much was known by his family and it always seemed to haunt Tousin's older brother, George. 

"He just knew he was killed," said Betty Spell, George's daughter. "Never had his body brought back. We found this out while we were in France, a lot of the soldiers' parents didn't want the body back, because they thought they weren't going to get their sons. They really didn't know who they were going to get. I think that's how my daddy felt." 

Spell and her brother Randy Demarest were recently invited to a ceremony in Dreux, France, honoring their uncle and the other soldiers.

"This little old man we talked to, he said 'you know these soldiers lost their lives, but because of them we are free today.' So that just meant a lot to me, to hear them say that. They're so appreciative of these 10 soldiers and the Americans." 

Their father, George Demarest, died in 2013 never quite knowing how his younger brother died.

"It was like a blessing," said Randy Demarest.."My daddy would have been tickled to death. I wouldn't have thought I could make the trip."
"I think that was the biggest thrill for me, was just to do this for my dad," said Spell. "To know that we went and found out what happened. We have closure now." 

Betty credits her son Todd for setting up the trip and getting her on a plane for the first time in her life. While in France, Betty and Randy also got to view the grave of a family cousin, Sam Monceaux, who was also killed during World War 2. 

Copyright 2017 KPLC-TV. All rights reserved.

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