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"Free memorial for the free French"

29 Juin 2011 , Rédigé par francaislibres.over-blog.com Publié dans #La France Libre

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"A monument to the Free French Movement has been rebuilt for free after the last one was left to fall into ruin.

 

The old memorial was in Parade Gardens but the new old has a more prominent spot at the harbour and marks The Appeal of the 18th of June, 1940. A famous speech by Charles De Gaulle to rally support for the French Resistance.

 

After the first one fell into disrepair, local stonemason Jody Hingston pledged to create a new one, for free.

 

A delegation from the French Embassy in the UK joined the Constable of St Helier to unveil the new monument.

 

Constable Simon Crowcroft explained the importance for Jersey: "It was the day that General De Gaulle made his famous appeal from London. The fact that he touched down in Jersey at the airport has always been a matter of pride for Jersey people."

 

Jody was given the plinth by TTS - a coping stone from an old sea wall. He sourced the granite himself and spent four months on the project, lovingly carving the inscription by hand, and adding 24 carot gold leaf.

 

For him, the memorial has a personal significance.

 

He said: "I was apprenticed about 30 years ago to a master mason, a French master mason and he also fought in the French Resistance during the second world war.

The original monument was intended as a thanks to the people of Jersey but I think it's important that younger generations remember the sacrifices of the past."

 

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