Sunday, March 15, 2015

'Monty' in Paris, May 1945

1. 'Monty' is awarded the Grand Cross of the Legion of Honour
Charles de Gaulle makes the award to the Field Marshal
'Monty' was the familiar name of Field Marshal Montgomery
[Les Invalides, Paris, Saturday 26 May 1945]
2. A wider view of the ceremony at Les Invalides, Paris
[Saturday 26 May 1945
3. The Republican Guard  fanfare during the ceremony
[Saturday 26 May 1945]
From the 1945 supplement of:       
"L'Armée Française au Combat"
For additional information click on 'Comments' below. 


Blogger ritsonvaljos said...

Additional information
'Monty in Paris'

Shortly after V.E. Day, the end of the Second World War in Europe, Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery, fondly known as 'Monty' visited Paris. During a ceremony at Les Invalides General Charles de Gaulle (Head of the Provisional French Government) bestowed the honour of the Grand Cross of the Legion of Honour to 'Monty' [Photograph No. 1].

At that time it had only recently been announced that 'Monty' was the Chief of the British Occupation Forces in Germany. Some years ealier, between 1927 and 1929, Charles de Gaulle had been in command of the French 19th Infantry Battalion in Trier as part of the occupation forces of the Rhineland following the First World War.

The award ceremony for Field Marshal Montgomery took place in the central courtyard of Les Invalides in front of representatives of the French Army [Photograph No. 2]. The French Republican Guard were among those taking part in the ceremony including the playing of a fanfare [Photograph No. 3].

Following the ceremony, 'Monty' was taken in a jeep along Avenue des Champs-Élysées where he was greeted by Parisians cheering one of their heroes. This may not yet have been the 'Gay Parée' of the pre-war years but nevertheless this was a joyous day for the Parisians who had been liberated from the German Occupation less than a year before.

The sketches of the ceremony seen above originally appeared in a French magazine supplement that appeared in 1945 (in English: "Our Infantry: a century of glory"). It was found in the collection of Sister Olga Baudot de Rouville, a member of the 'Pat' escape and evasion line during WW2.

Cumbria County Archives and Local Studies Centre,
Whitehaven Records Office,
Scotch Street,
Cumbria. CA28 7NL

Monday, 16 March, 2015  

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