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Christophe

Only 75 Companions of the Liberation still alive!

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Yesterday, in France, we celebrated the 66th anniversary of Charles de Gaulle's Appeal of 18 June 1940.

This Appeal aimed at rallying all of the French values and energy in favour of the Resistance against the Germans forces occupying France, announced the creation of the Order of the Liberation.

When the decree to deactivate the Order of the Liberation was signed on 23 January 1946, there were exactly 1,036 Companions of the Liberation, five French communities and eighteen combat units that had received the award.

Out of the 1,036 Companions, more than 700 actually survived the war.

Here you can find the list of the Companions of the Liberation :

http://www.ordredelaliberation.fr/us_doc/4_1_compagnon.html

At the date of this ceremony, there are only 75 surviving Companions of the Liberation.

The pic shows the anniversary ceremony of the Appeal at the Mont Valerien.

Ch.

Pic : ? Service photographique de la Pr?sidence de la R?publique - F. P?rier - Tous droits r?serv?s.

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Only 74 surviving Companions of the Liberation

We have learnt today the death of Admiral Andr? Patou, Companion of the Lib?ration.

Andr? Patou, born in 1910, has been Chief of Staff of the French Navy from 1968 to 1970.

Here is his bio (in French) :

http://www.ordredelaliberation.fr/fr_compagnon/751.html

After his death, there are now only 74 surviving Companions of the Liberation.

The list of the surviving Companions of the Liberation :

http://www.ordredelaliberation.fr/fr_doc/4_1_2_2.php

Ch.

Pic : Chancellerie de l'Ordre de la Lib?ration.

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Christophe,

Very intresting thread I saw some things on this when I was in the Charles de Gaulle museum in Bayeux last year.

My French is not good, but was well worth the visit, I think its one of the less known museums in Bayeux!

Order of Victory

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Christophe,

Very intresting thread I saw some things on this when I was in the Charles de Gaulle museum in Bayeux last year.

My French is not good, but was well worth the visit, I think its one of the less known museums in Bayeux!

Order of Victory

OoV,

Thanks. I have myself to come back to this Museum, as it makes several years I have not gone there...

The memory of these great men and soldiers is worthwile remembering.

Cheers.

Ch.

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Admiral Andr? Patou

I forgot to mention that the Admiral died on Saturday 10 june 2006.

Ch.

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Only 73 surviving Companions of the Liberation

We have learnt this week the death of Marius Guyot, Companion of the Lib?ration, on 25 September 2006.

Marius Guyot, born in 1918, has fought on Koufra, Fezzan, Italy, Provence and Germany battlefields.

Here is his bio (in French) :

http://www.ordredelaliberation.fr/fr_compagnon/447.html

After his death, there are now only 73 surviving Companions of the Liberation.

Ch.

Pic : Chancellerie de l'Ordre de la Lib?ration.

Edited by Christophe

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Only 72 surviving Companions of the Liberation

We have learnt the death of Martin Touzeau, Companion of the Lib?ration, on 11 October 2006.

Martin Touzeau, born in 1919, a former spahi, joined the French Free Forces and fought in Syria, in Palestine, in Libya, at El Alamein and in Tunisia. He then joined the Great Britain, landed in Normandy and fought in Italy, and ended the war at Berchtesgaden.

Here is his bio (in French) :

http://www.ordredelaliberation.fr/fr_compagnon/980.html

After his death, there are now only 72 surviving Companions of the Liberation.

Ch.

Pic : Chancellerie de l'Ordre de la Lib?ration.

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Only 71 surviving Companions of the Liberation

We have learnt the death of Roger L?vy, Companion of the Lib?ration, on 17 October 2006.

Roger L?vy, born in 1914, joined the Great Britain and the Free French forces in 1940 after participating in the Norway campaign. He then fought in Brazzaville, Tchad, fezzan where he is seriously wounded, losing one leg. Prisoner in Italy and liberated because of his wounds, he will end the war in Beyrouth.

Later, he will be Deputy Mayor of Aix-en-Provence.

Here is his bio (in French) :

http://www.ordredelaliberation.fr/fr_compagnon/605.html

After his death, there are now only 71 surviving Companions of the Liberation.

Ch.

Pic : Chancellerie de l'Ordre de la Lib?ration.

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Only 70 surviving Companions of the Liberation

We have learnt last week the death on Christmas day of Jacques Roumegu?re, Companion of the Lib?ration.

Jacques Roumegu?re, born in 1917, participated to France and Belgium campaigns. He then joined the Great Britain and the Free French forces in 1940. He fought in Africa, in Libya, Tunisia... before fighting in Italy and France. He has been wounded at Bir-Hakeim in June 1942. He has been made Companion of tthe Lib?ration in September 1942. After the war, he will become Deputy Secretary of the Order of the Liberation, and will have different positions in several ministries and consulates.

Here is his bio (in French) :

http://www.ordredelaliberation.fr/fr_compagnon/870.html

After his death, there are now only 70 surviving Companions of the Liberation.

Ch.

Pic : Chancellerie de l'Ordre de la Lib?ration.

Edited by Christophe

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Yes, 5 Companions in 6 month time... :( And the tempo can only accelerate...

Ch.

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Thanks to Nick, our Chairman :beer: , this thread has now been moved to its right place : WW2.

Ch.

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Christophe,

Was there a medal or other type of award given to the Companions?

Craig

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Christophe,

Thank you for the links a great story. Was it General De Gaulle who broght back The Legion of Honour and if so was this after the Liberation of France?

Craig

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Craig,

During WW2, neither the French Government of Vichy nor the Free France Authorities made a large use of the Legion d'Honneur. But it has been awarded during this period and has never been discontinued. General de Gaulle, just after the Liberation began to give back the award its prestige, and specifically put in place a decree in November 1962 to give the Order a new status.

Ch.

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Thanks for the information Christophe I had been told that De Gaulle had cancelled the Legion for the duration of WW2

Craig.

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Thanks for the information Christophe I had been told that De Gaulle had cancelled the Legion for the duration of WW2

Craig.

De Gaulle was not the "official" government, so he could not do it. But, I also believe he did not award the L?gion d'Honneur during the war. He focused on the Order de la Lib?ration, the Medals for Resistance... L?gions d'Honneur have been awarded during WW2, but by the "official" authorities. Not a lot I think. I would be interested in knowing how many...

Ch.

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Only 69 surviving Companions of the Liberation.

On 9 January 2007 died Jean-Pierre Vernant, Companion of the Lib?ration.

Jean-Pierre Vernant, was a Resistance leader and Hellenist.

Jean-Pierre Vernant, wartime resistant and classical scholal is born in Provins on 4 January 1914. He was the son of a father who was killed in the First World War. In 1937 he passed out top in the agr?gation in Philosophy for the whole of France, shortly after his brother had achieved the same distinction. I did his military service shortly after in October 1937, and is Sergent-Chef in the Infantery at the time the war began. He is discharged from the army after the fall of France, and join the Resistance in July 1940 in Toulouse, where he is a teacher.

He helped form the Arm?e Secr?te in 1942, and by the end of the Second World War, as Colonel Berthier of the Forces Fran?aises de l'Int?rieur, was commander of the entire Resistance movement in Haute-Garonne, organising the liberation of Toulouse on 19-20 August 1944.

His ability to unify the many independent groups made Toulouse a centre of the Resistance and one of the most active theatres of clandestine warfare in France. Their operations included disrupting railway and road supplies, sabotaging factory production, organising the main escape route to Spain for Allied pilots who escaped or were shot down.

After the war, he will become again a professor, and a famous hellenist. He wrote a number of books on this subject, including the famous "Les origines de la pens?e grecque" in 1962. In 1975, is is appointed Professor in College de France.

Here is his bio (in French) :

http://www.ordredelaliberation.fr/fr_compagnon/1009.html

After his death, there are now only 69 surviving Companions of the Liberation.

Ch.

Pic : Chancellerie de l'Ordre de la Lib?ration.

Edited by Christophe

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Only 68 surviving Companions of the Liberation.

We learnt this week the death on 25 January 2007 of Joseph Casile, Companion of the Lib?ration.

oseph Casile

Joseph Casile, born in 1905, took part in Tobrouk capture in 1941, and fought then in Bir-Hakeim in 1942. He is wounded in El-Alamein in October 1942. He will then fight in Tunisia (1943) and will land in Italy in April 1944 and fight in France (Provence, Alsace).

After the war he will continue his service in Bangui, and then will go back to civil life in Corsica.

Here is his bio (in French) :

http://www.ordredelaliberation.fr/fr_compagnon/181.html

After his death, there are now only 68 surviving Companions of the Liberation.

Ch.

Pic : Chancellerie de l'Ordre de la Lib?ration.

Edited by Christophe

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Only 67 surviving Companions of the Liberation.

We learnt yesterday the death on 11 February 2007 of Andr? Postel-Vinay, Companion of the Lib?ration.

Andr? Postel-Vinay, born in 1911, took part in the France combats of June 1940, and has been made prisoner on 17 June. Evaded on 24 June, he will cooperate with the Intelligence Service (Pat O'Leary network in charge of bringing back to England the RAF aviators fallen down on French territory). Betrayed, he will be arrested in December 1941. In September 1942, he made another evasion, wounded and simulating madness, and join Gibraltar. After the war, he will have a brilliant carreer being Secretary of State for Immigrants Workers (1974-1976).

Here is his bio (in French) :

http://www.ordredelaliberation.fr/fr_compagnon/801.html

After his death, there are now only 67 surviving Companions of the Liberation.

Ch.

Pic : Chancellerie de l'Ordre de la Lib?ration.

Edited by Christophe

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Only 66 surviving Companions of the Liberation.

On 9 April 2007 died General Jacques Bourdis, Companion of the Lib?ration.

Born on 10 November 1920 in Grenoble, Jacques Bourdis was a Member of the Conseil de L'Ordre de la Lib?ration (Council of the Order of Liberation) since January 2007.

Jacques Bourdis chose the military carrier when the June 1940 armistice was signed: he refused the capitulation and joined the Free French Forces (FFL) in London on board an English cargo.

Appointed to the 13th half-brigade of the Foreign Legion, he took part in all its campaigns. From Solum, on the Egyptian-Libyan border in January 1942 to the French-Italian border on 8 May 1945, Jacques Bourdis distinguished himself in Bir-Hakeim in June 1942, in El Alamein in October 1942 and in Illhausern, Alsace, in January 1945.

After the war, he assumed several commands in Germany and in Indochina. He was a military, naval and air attach? to the French embassy in Athens between 1963 and 1966.

He was then appointed chief of Prime minister Jacques Chaban-Delmas? military cabinet between 1969 and 1973, government adviser for Defence in 1977. Jacques Bourdis then headed the 2nd military region in Lille between 1978 and 1980.

From 1981 to 1986, he was the chief of the survey department of the armament control agency founded in 1954 within the Western European Union (WEU).

General Bourdis was a holder of the Grand Croix de la L?gion d?Honneur and the Grand Croix de l?Ordre National du M?rite, and has been awarded many other French and foreign decorations.

Here is his bio (in French) :

http://www.ordredelaliberation.fr/fr_compagnon/132.html

After his death, there are now only 66 surviving Companions of the Liberation.

Ch.

Pic : Chancellerie de l'Ordre de la Lib?ration.

Edited by Christophe

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Only 65 surviving Companions of the Liberation.

We learnt these last weeks the death on 20 June 2007 of Roger Ceccaldi, Companion of the Lib?ration.

Roger Ceccaldi, born in 1913, was before the war in Tchad, and commander of an artillery section in Faya-Largeau. As for 1940, he participated in combats in Joufra, with Leclerc. Then he fought in Fezzan, Libya and Tchad. He took part in the battle of Bir HaKeim in June 1942, and is wound there. He evaded from Italy where he had been transferred as a prisoner, and participated in the Italy and France Campaigns. After the war, he will continue his military carrer in Ivoey Coast, Indochina, Germany and Algeria until 1962.

Here is his bio (in French) :

http://www.ordredelaliberation.fr/fr_compagnon/189.html

After his death, there are now only 65 surviving Companions of the Liberation.

Ch.

Pic : Chancellerie de l'Ordre de la Lib?ration.

Edited by Christophe

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Only 64 surviving Companions of the Liberation.

We learnt on the 17th August 2007 the death on the 14th May 2004 (!) of James Worden, Companion of the Lib?ration.

James Worden was the last surviving American Companion.

James Worden, born in 1912, arrived in France in August 1939, as part fo the American Field Service. In May-June 1940, he served in Amiens, Beauvais, Orleans and Poitiers. Under the protection of the American Red Cross, he will then visit prisoners camps. Forced to leave France in 1941, he will join the Forces Fran?ases Libres (FFL) in Congo. He will then fight in tunisia, Libya and at Bir Hakeim, before landing in Italy, then in Provence and participating to the Liberation of France.

After the war, he lived in Princeton.

Here is his bio (in French) :

http://www.ordredelaliberation.fr/fr_compagnon/1034.html

After his death, there are now only 64 surviving Companions of the Liberation.

Ch.

Pic : Chancellerie de l'Ordre de la Lib?ration.

Edited by Christophe

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