Ambassador pays tribute to General De Gaulle
This morning the Ambassador commemorated the 75th anniversary of the Appeal of 18 June 1940 in front of the statue of General de Gaulle in Carlton Gardens, London, near the former headquarters of the Free French Forces.
The ceremony was attended by the deputy and former prime minister François Fillon, French deputies Pierre Lellouche and Isabelle Cannelec, and the heads of French voluntary organizations. A delegation from Air Base 106 in Bordeaux-Mérignac was also at the ceremony, as well as British veterans who fought in the Second World War.
The Ambassador said: “18 June is the day when France rediscovered its honour and its soul – its fighting soul – through the will of one man, even though the country was on its knees.”
“We will never forget the value and meaning of the dedication of the Free French Forces, who personify the spirit of resistance, a spirit to which President François Hollande paid tribute at the Panthéon on 27 May.”
The Ambassador also recalled the crucial support Britain lent the Free French Forces and the contribution of British forces to the Liberation of France and Europe, which was recently commemorated on the 71st anniversary of D-Day.
After the Ambassador’s speech, those present observed a minute’s silence in respect for the victims of the Second World War.