Friday, March 01, 2013

Charles de Gaulle in Wales

Trawling through the Corbis picture archive recently I came across this photograph of General Charles de Gaulle. The leader of the Free French is shown greeting a group of French boy scouts who were on a camping trip somewhere in Wales. The snap was taken in 1940 just before his ill fated attempt to capture the French West African port of Dakar. De Gaulle who was exiled in Britain sailed from Liverpool so I’m guessing that the picture must have been taken somewhere in north Wales. Any more information on de Gaulle's Welsh visit would be greatly appreciated.

Another little known fact concerning de Gaulle is that his uncle – also called Charles de Gaulle – was a Welsh-speaker. He was a poet who promoted the idea of Pan-Celticism. From his flat in Paris he taught himself how to speak Welsh, Breton and Gaelic. You can read more about him here.

*The above photograph is © Bettmann/CORBIS