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Sunday, 8 June 2008

Dien Bien Phu. The end and the begining. Memories of Vietnam

The place was a maths class, Framlingham College, Suffolk, England. I was fifteen years old. The date was May the 7th or 8th, 1954.
Our history teacher, Mr. Hague, burst into the classroom, portable radio in his hand, crying out, "Dien Bien Phu has fallen, Dien Bien Phu has fallen."
It might have been the end of the world. It is my oldest memory of Vietnam, although doubtless we had been following events for some time.
Mr.Hague and I had a tempestuous relationship. He wouldn't hesitate to drag me out of bed after midnight to berate me for my opinions in my history essays. I was his star pupil, if cussedly independent.
Vietnam began its long wait to make my aquaintance.


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