Ren Mouchotte Lyce Franais London

Jan Leeming

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Me looking brave before taking to the air (and the wing) of the plane. Wow, it was cold !! But the whole experience was totally exhilarating.

 

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RENÉ MOUCHOTTE - Lycée Français, London

Date: 19th June 2013

RENÉ MOUCHOTTE – LYCÉE FRANÇAIS

Had a wonderful day yesterday in London.

18th June 1940 is celebrated by the French as the day when Gen. de Gaulle put out his ‘Appel’ (Call) from London to Frenchmen encouraging them to continue the fight against Nazi Germany.

There is a short service at the Memorial to Gen. de Gaulle in Carlton Gardens, London, followed by a move to the Lycée in Kensington for the unveiling of a Vitrine which this year was dedicated to the Free French Aviators with particular emphasis on the story of René Mouchotte.

Hubert de Lisle and his wife happened to be over from France visiting their offspring and were delighted to attend the Lycée. It was such a bonus to be able to say that we had in our midst one of the nieces of René.

There was a buffet lunch and then in the Institute Français they showed my documentary on René (wonderful to see it on a large screen) and a couple of short films on the French bomber crews stationed at Elvington during the war as well as a compilation in French briefly outlining René’s escape from Oran and his career in the RAF.

I was absolutely thrilled to bits when Col. and Madame de Lisle gave me a lapel badge which had belonged to René when he was a member of the Aero Club Jean Mermoz – the latter being a pilot greatly admired by René.

I am also now in contact with the Aero Club René Mouchotte situated outside Paris and will hopefully be able to attend the official opening of the French Air Force renaming of their training school at Cazaux. Cambrai Epinoy was their previous training base named after René but, like our country, defence cuts meant that the base is no longer used by the military.

And then I’ve got September to which to look forward with the renaming of the RAF HQ in Gibraltar as the Mouchotte building.

And to think all this interest, friendship and activity came out of sponsoring a name on a Wall of Remembrance.
 

RENÉ MOUCHOTTE - Lycée Français, London

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