France awards top war medal...to Lon­don

Daily Express - - Front Page - From Peter Allen in Paris

LON­DON is set to be be­stowed France’s high­est award for mil­i­tary merit.

Plans are under way for Pres­i­dent Em­manuel Macron to hand the cap­i­tal a Le­gion d’Hon­neur in June, in recog­ni­tion of its work in help­ing to win the Sec­ond World War.

While Bri­tain played a key role in D-Day, which led di­rec­tion to the Liberation of France from Nazi con­quest, Mr Macron is adamant his pre­de­ces­sor Charles de Gaulle was a vi­tal com­po­nent of vic­tory.

The wartime leader was ex­iled to Lon­don after French forces col­lapsed, and the gen­eral suc­cess­fully used the city as a base to in­spire his fel­low coun­try­men.

On June 18 1940, De Gaulle made his fa­mous Ap­peal speech via BBC Ra­dio from Broad­cast­ing House.

He said: “I, Gen­eral de Gaulle, cur­rently in Lon­don, in­vite the of­fi­cers and the French sol­diers who are lo­cated in Bri­tish ter­ri­tory or who might end up here, with their weapons or with­out their weapons, to put them­selves in con­tact with me.”

De Gaulle con­cluded: “What­ever hap­pens, the flame of the French re­sis­tance must not be ex­tin­guished and will not be ex­tin­guished.”

Such words were recog­nised as the first sign of French Re­sis­tance, lead­ing to the French taking up arms.

Pres­i­dent Em­manuel Macron

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