1945-1955 : About the rebuilding of Vimoutiers



Website map


 of Pays d'Auge


Geo Visitors Map





A few Northern American

imprints ... :


Dr Knirim, Marie Harel & camembert cheese


National Geographic magazine




About the rebuilding


2nd statue of Marie Harel 



"Two temporary barracks square, made up of Swedish and American wooden structures, are built :

one, where the Wheat market building used to stand, the other one on the east side of the rue du Pont Vautier.  In 1945, the Mayor is Monsieur Gavin and he uses his best endeavours to find financial assistance. However, some people will be living there for more than ten years.


William Welles Bosworth



In 1947, Welles Bosworth offers his support, he founds the Committee of American Aid to Vimoutiers, part of American Aid to France. This organization aims to collect funds in order to compensate the overwhelmed State of France.

Welles Bosworth, American neo-classic architect, "in love" with France, regularly comes to follow the evolution of the rebuilding. He is Honorary Citizen of the town of Vimoutiers.


In April 1949, Vimoutiers is adopted by the International Pilot-Club thanks to the intervention of Margaret Mitchell, contacted by Denis Barois...

But in August 1949, Margaret is struck by a speeding automobile in a street of Atlanta. Thus unfortunately she will not be able to honour with a visit of Vimoutiers her Honorary citizenship which she had however accepted on July 27, 1949.


Aids of the Pilot-Clubs of Chicago and Philadelphia will be substantial and regular. They will last until circa the 1970' s.

The fountain, built in 1824 on the market place, is rebuilt with the remaining parts after the 1944 bombings and placed in the square of the Pilot Club International.


Five years of help and more : "Pilot international - History"

Nowadays, The Pilot club international square in Vimoutiers

  Reconstruction - life along the river (named Life) - and "temporary" shops


  but what is there in common between "Gone With the Wind" and "Vimoutiers bombings" ... Margaret Mitchell's kindness facing the disaster



Reconstruction - Images d'archives






In 1950, the writer Marie-Bennett Alsmeyer, nurse, WWII US veteran, writes the narrative of her cycling through Europe, "Six days after D-Day".

In her memories, she devotes a chapter to her visit of Vimoutiers in which she expresses her astonishement at the precariousness of the barracks-like structures. She publishes in her book these two photographies (May 1950).



1946-1956 : “Facing the distress of no-income mothers, the Red Cross - of which Mrs Boullard, Dentu, Boittin- creates a sewing room of embroidery. The Laniel Factories then in difficulty, make gift of an important batch of canvas. Several women bring their know-how and the embroidery was born again**

The ladies of the Pilot-Club, charmed by the result, organize sales each one in her state. Thus, large cases - the linen fabric is heavy and bulky - leave regularly Le Havre by boat. In the United States where all is already machine-made, the Vimonasterien hand-made is successful: orders flow and points of sale multiply.


**Canvas and cretonne


The beautiful adventure of the Norman embroideries in United States will last for some ten years,

the time for rebuilding and return to the normal life "…


A few year later, after 1955,

an interesting aerial view,

the revival of Vimoutiers ...


... the rebuilding of the Halle au beurre,

and on the right, a few barracks.



William Wells Bosworth was the architect of :

the so famous Kikuit gardens, Rockefeller's House,

American T&T building in New-York,

He also contributed to the restoration of Versailles, Fontainebleau

and the cathedral of Reims

Margaret Mitchell 1900-1949

Reporter, she wrote an only one book :

"Gone with the wind"

Sources : Six years after D-Day, Marie Bennett Alsmeyer - Bulletins n°29 de la Société Historique - le web -

Images : MB Alsmeyer webmaster©wimoutiers.net - view after 1955 (many thanks to Jean-Pierre)