Charles De Gaulle Appel Of 18Th June 1940

Jan Leeming

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Charles de Gaulle - Appel of 18th June 1940

Date: 18th June 2016

As a Patron of Souvenir Français; a Vice President of the Allied Air Forces Museum in York;and with French ancestry, I have the honour to attend many French functions throughout the year.  The next one will be the Cocktail Party at the French Ambassador's Residence in London in commemoration of Le Quatorze Juillet (Bastille Day).  (My comprehension of French is improving enormously but sadly I will never be able to speak it as well as I can understand and read it - we were not well taught at school)

Today we gathered at the Memorial to de Gaulle in London to attend a short ceremony commemorating his 'Appeal' to the French People to rise up and fight.

I can do no better than copy what I read on Wikepedia as to an explanation of this very important speech.

The Appeal of 18 June (French: L'Appel du 18 juin) was a famous speech by Charles de Gaulle, the leader of the Free French Forces, in 1940. The appeal is often considered to be the origin of the French Resistance to the German occupation during World War II. De Gaulle spoke to the French people from London after the fall of France. He declared that the war for France was not yet over, and rallied the country in support of the Resistance. It is one of the most important speeches in French history.

In spite of its reputation as the beginning of the Resistance and Free French, historians have shown that the appeal was heard only by a minority of French people. De Gaulle's 22 June 1940 speech on the BBC was more widely heard.

It is traditional that after this short ceremony we move to the Lycée Français where, each year, a vitrine in the entrance lobby displays an element, a different facet of the French involvment in World War 2.  A few years ago I suggested to  Brigitte Williams that it might be in order  to dedicate the vitrine to the story of René Mouchotte and so for a year the students would have had the opportunity of learning more about this valiant man.

De Gaulle's Monument today.

Charles de Gaulle - Appel of 18th June 1940

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