Thursday, December 22, 2016

"Disposing of the lie" about Marshal Pétain

Keswick Country House Hotel, English Lake District
[WW2 home of the evacuated Roedean Girls School]
At the end of WW2, the provisional French Government, headed by Charles de Gaulle, put Marshal Philippe Pétain (Chief of the French State 11 July 1940 - 20 August 1944) on trial. Marshal Pétain also signed the 1940 Armistice with Germany, rejected by General de Gaulle and the Free French. The trial took place France between 23 July and 15 August 1945.

Was Pétain culpable of signing the Armistice prematurely? Should France have continued the fight? These were two of the questions that were considered, not just in the French High Court but by French men and women in France and by those living outside of France.

One French woman with an opinion on these matters who was living in Britain was Dr. Aline Lion. She was working as a French teacher at Roedean Girls School which had been evacuated to the Keswick Hotel in the English Lake District (seen in the above photograph). Dr Lion even sent a telegram giving a witness statement in support of Marshal  Pétain which was read out in the High Court.

For additional information click on 'Comments' below. 

Monday, December 05, 2016

A Seasonal Greeting 2016

Season's Greetings 2016 

1. Traditional decorated Christmas tree (December 2016)
'The Rum Story' courtyard, Whitehaven 
2. Thirlmere in the English Lake District (December 2016)
A source of fresh drinking water and timber
  "Dear Christmas, here you are after such a long time
  It's been a whole year 
  That I've waited for you." 
  Translation of a traditional French Christmas greeting: 
  Cher Noël, voici bien longtemps 
  Tout juste un an 
  Que je t'attends
  + + + + + + + + + + + + + +   
For many hundreds of years the darkness of winter has been lightened up by decorating greenery and lighting candles. Even during the Second World War an effort would be made to decorate homes with greenery and if possible a tree although perhaps not as decorative as the one seen in photograph No. 1. Even in these darkest of times there remained places where timber was felled for the war effort, such as near Thirlmere (photograph No. 2) which also provided an essential fresh water supply for Manchester and district.