A Poppy
A Poppy

Memorials & Monuments
on the Isle of Wight
- Cowes : Free French Memorial -

Location

In the shelter at The Parade, Cowes, Isle of Wight, PO31
 
See map on www.streetmap.co.uk
 
IWM War Memorials Archive Record

Link : War Memorials Archive Reference 21783
 
Description

Bronze memorial plaque, with enamel cross of Lorraine.

The original enamel badge was damaged and has been replaced.
Memorial


 
Inscription


CLOSE TO THESE PREMISES
IN MARVIN'S YARD
WERE BASED FROM 1940 TO 1945
THE FREE FRENCH SUBMARINE CHASERS
UNDER THE COMMAND OF CAPTAIN
FIRST DESTROYER FLOTILLA.
THEY WERE IN THE FIGHTING LINE
IN THE CHANNEL
NOTABLY IN THE COWES BLITZ
BRUNEVAL AND DIEPPE RAIDS
LIBERATION OF FRANCE
+
+
PRES D'ICI
A MARVIN'S YARD
FURENT BASES DE 1940 A 1945
LES CHASSEURS DES F.N.F.L.
SOUS LES ORDRES DU COMMANDANT
DE LA PREMIERE FLOTILLE DE TORPILLEURS
ILS ETAIENT EN PREMIERE LIGNE DANS LA MANCHE
PARTICULIEREMENT LORS DU BOMBARDMENT DE COWES
DES RAIDS DE BRUNEVAL ET DIEPPE
ET LA LIBERATION DE LA FRANCE



Many French sailors served in this unit. At least four died while based in Cowes, while others feature in local newspaper reports for a variety of reasons, either because they were involved with concerts, or football matches, or appeared in the local courts. At least three men married local girls.

Those known to have died :
Pierre Michael GUILCHER Killed in the bombing of Cowes, 4/5 May 1942.
Initially buried at Northwood Cemetery, 8 May 1942.
Exhumed for re-burial in France, 7 Dec 1948.
Jacques VIEL
Quartermaster Mechanic
Killed in an accident at Mill Hill Station, Cowes, 3 Nov 1942. Initially buried at Northwood Cemetery, 7 Nov 1942.
Exhumed for re-burial in France, 7 Dec 1950.
Jean Francis Marie BERTHOU
Quartermaster Cook
Drowned, River Medina, Cowes, 3 Nov 1942. Initially buried at Northwood Cemetery, 7 Nov 1942.
Exhumed for re-burial at Brookwood Cemetery, 7 Dec 1949.
Dominique GRAZIANI
Naval Rating
Accidentally killed during practice at sea, Dec 1944. Initially buried at Northwood Cemetery, 6 Dec 1944.
Exhumed for re-burial at Brookwood Cemetery, 7 Dec 1950.
Those known to have married :
Louis Henri BERTHO
Petty Officer
Married Dorothy Lilian May HATCHER, at St Thomas's R.C. Church, Cowes, 6 Sep 1941.
François KERGOAT
Chief Petty Officer
Married Florence Adelaide LEWIS, at St Thomas's R.C. Church, Cowes, 9 May 1942.
Pierre GAREL Married Kathleen Julia CONROY, in Portsmouth, Mar qtr 1943.
Others mentioned in newspaper reports :
Pierre BAZIN Drunk and disorderly, [IWCP 24 May 1941]
REGLER Played for Cowes football club, used to play for Calais, [IWCP 13 Dec 1941]
Noel MELOU and Joseph MILLENCE Drunk and disorderly, [IWCP 7 Feb 1942]
Marcel AUSSANT, René QUESNEL, Charles LABAYE, and Albert COUDRAY Drunk and disorderly, [IWCP 7 Nov 1942]
This list is of course not exhaustive.

Page last updated : 26 April 2017 (added some names of those known to have served)


 
 

 
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