KYRLE Probus Club member Chris Hucker was intrigued when he noticed during a visit to Denmark on April 9 last year that every Danish flag over the Royal Palace was at half mast.

Chris, in Denmark researching a book, asked a guide why this was so, he told the Probus Club meeting on Thursday, February 7. The guide said: “Today all Denmark remembers our humiliation at the hands of Germany on April 9, 1940”.

Calling his talk Hitler’s Canaries - Danish Resistance 1940-1945, Chris spoke in fascinating detail of how the Danes dealt with the country’s occupation.

After being overwhelmed by the invasion “It would be some time before Denmark would be able to lift its head again,” said Chris.

But Denmark, then a small country, with a population of just five million, and utterly ill-equipped and unprepared for the shock catastrophe, fought back and regained its pride.

When Churchill visited Denmark in October 1951 to meet survivors of the Churchill Club resistance movement, he said, “Denmark had proved it was a country with very strong teeth”.

The invasion, at the same time as the attack on Norway, was perhaps not so well-known as others that had swept the Nazis through Europe, but now a new generation of Danes wanted to explore what had happened.

Defiant acts of sabotage were mounted throughout the country - schoolchildren were among those who set fire to German vehicles and factories - and though many were called spies and executed, up to 20,000 Danes were involved in resistance movements. Most Danish Jews were saved and hidden when a round-up was planned in 1943.

Described at one stage as a ‘model protectorate’ by the occupiers, and used for rest and recuperation by Germans recovering from the war at the Russian front, a newly-resurgent Denmark continued to cause havoc and mayhem before they threw out the Nazis during their capitulation on May 4, 1945.

Memorial plaques have been erected as a tribute to the Danish adults and children who died fighting for freedom, alongside a monument to RAF crews who perished on air raids.

Kyrle Probus members also enjoyed a visit to Hillside Brewery at Longhope in January.

The brewery is owned by father and son Peter and Paul Williamson and was established in 2013.

The group were given a very clear and detailed description by guide Rory of the various malts and hops that go into making a beer and how small changes in ingredients can make such a difference.

There are over 1000 different kinds of hops to choose from, and the group were given the opportunity to sample several different beers - Pinnacle, Legless Cow, and Legend of the Hill.