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Legionnaire in Algeria....


Chris Boonzaier
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I just got this from the son aver Ebay,

I assume he was a caporal in 2eme REI which made the group a must for me.... probably by way of 1ere and 4eme REI?

I think the star on the VM is gold

The son is going to try and find some photos and letters for me.

I saved it from being 5 lots on ebay buy buying 4 and tracking down the buyer of the 5th.

The "Its not named so not researchable, French medals are just bits of metal because of this....." is of course just waffle when you get a nice group like this.

He cut the pins of every one of the badges to mount them.....

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Interesting stuff - "Pieds Noir" - is it a souvenir type patch rather than an Algerian unit patch?

Hello Leigh.

The expression "Pieds Noir" apply to French citizens who were born and raised in then French Algeria ( a "Department" of France which also was a Military Region ) From where this expression comes I do not know. To my recollection "Pieds Noir" was applied affectionately but also derisively by those looking down on them. Also it seems worth the mention that only very few French then living in French Algeria deserved a reputation of "evil colonists" (" colon") but were rather hard working folks who when not losing their lives during the conflict, lost their homes and many posessions when Algeria got its independence.

I am receptive to any correction of my description of the term "Pieds Noir "which is based on memory only.

Bernhard H. Holst

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Yes, I was always under the impression that it was a derogatory term applied by anti - French to pro - French Algerians, a reference to the wearing of shoes, hence the "black feet".

Anybody notice that Simon Murray appeared on "Desert Island Discs" a few days ago, no doubt to be repeated on BBC World Service?

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Hello Leigh.

The expression "Pieds Noir" apply to French citizens who were born and raised in then French Algeria ( a "Department" of France which also was a Military Region ) From where this expression comes I do not know. To my recollection "Pieds Noir" was applied affectionately but also derisively by those looking down on them. Also it seems worth the mention that only very few French then living in French Algeria deserved a reputation of "evil colonists" (" colon") but were rather hard working folks who when not losing their lives during the conflict, lost their homes and many posessions when Algeria got its independence.

I am receptive to any correction of my description of the term "Pieds Noir "which is based on memory only.

Bernhard H. Holst

You are almost correcte on the description, just to add a little more if I may, the Campains of Napoleon in North Africa are responsible for this name anyway, the first soldiers at the time were wearing long black socks.....so the name Pied Noir was adopted by the local. Later on, You had to be born in Algeria from French parents to be called a real Pied Noir.

I need to make a correction, yes, the "Evil Colo" were like the US Army during the Indian Campains or during the Pacification of the Philipines. During this time of North African Colonisation of 1839 to 1870, two third of the Algerian population was killed...

Edited by Francois
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The term "pied noir" is usually used as shorthand these days in France for Sephardic Jewish families of French-Algerian origin who fled Algeria upon Independence as opposed to French Jews of longer standing. Of course, the Pieds Noirs were gentiles too, of French and other European stock but born in Algeria, which was a French department. The "anorak" patch is interesting as there is, as far as I know, no such place as Pieds Noirs. Obviously for anoraks worn by les pieds noirs...

I love that cigarette case!

PK

Edited by PKeating
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You are almost correcte on the description, just to add a little more if I may, the Campains of Napoleon in North Africa are responsible for this name anyway, the first soldiers at the time were wearing long black socks.....so the name Pied Noir was adopted by the local. Later on, You had to be born in Algeria from French parents to be called a real Pied Noir.

I need to make a correction, yes, the "Evil Colo" were like the US Army during the Indian Campains or during the Pacification of the Philipines. During this time of North African Colonisation of 1839 to 1870, two third of the Algerian population was killed...

I am not sure Napoleon never led any military campaign in North Africa... The Algerian conquest began under King Charles X (it was its idea), then Louis-Philippe and eventually Napoleon but the Third...

To say that "two third of the population was killed" seems to me very very exagerated, by the number (i.e. 2 million people!) and the wording!

The population of native Algerians decreased in 30 years of approximately one third, as a consequence of wars, fights, displacements, starvation and other many indirect causes, seems to me more appropriate to say. However it is still enormous.

Regards

Bison

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I am not sure Napoleon never led any military campaign in North Africa... The Algerian conquest began under King Charles X (it was its idea), then Louis-Philippe and eventually Napoleon but the Third...

To say that "two third of the population was killed" seems to me very very exagerated, by the number (i.e. 2 million people!) and the wording!

The population of native Algerians decreased in 30 years of approximately one third, as a consequence of wars, fights, displacements, starvation and other many indirect causes, seems to me more appropriate to say. However it is still enormous.

Regards

Bison

Napoleon attacked Egypt, and lead the attack himself. His forces were ultimately defeated and he returned to France leaving his army to make their own way back. Not one of his better moments.

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You are right, but he was not Emperor 'Napoleon', he was general 'Bonaparte'. Even if they are the same person, the French history clearly separates the two periods and the two characters...

And in fact, they are different. I spoke about Napoleon, not Bonaparte.

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You are right, but he was not Emperor 'Napoleon', he was general 'Bonaparte'. Even if they are the same person, the French history clearly separates the two periods and the two characters...

And in fact, they are different. I spoke about Napoleon, not Bonaparte.

I think the distinction is probably lost on many of us non-French. I had certainly never appreciated that there was such a distinction with regard to his achievements and I assume most others would not have either.

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I think the distinction is probably lost on many of us non-French. I had certainly never appreciated that there was such a distinction with regard to his achievements and I assume most others would not have either.

I agree! Despite having taught history for 30 years, admittedly to teenagers, where the standards or scholarship are, shall we say, 'relaxed' I wasn't aware of the distinction either. Was it based solely on what time period is being discussed - pre or post self-coronation, or are there other. more complex, distinctions?

Peter

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