Charles de Gaulle - Carlton Gardens, London, UK
N 51° 30.340 W 000° 08.031
30U E 698904 N 5709954
Quick Description: This blue plaque denotes the building where General Charles de Gaulle set-up the Headquarters of the Free French Forces in 1940.
Location: London, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 4/11/2012 11:26:20 AM
Waymark Code: WME6Y9
The blue plaque reads:
Greater London Council
Charles De Gaulle
President of the
French National Committee
the Headquarters of the
Free French Forces
The Spartacus Schoolnet website (visit
link) tells us about the Free French Forces:
"On 17th June, 1940, General Charles De Gaulle
broadcast an appeal on BBC radio for French men and women to join him and the
British in the fight against Nazi Germany. By the end of July only 7,000 people
had volunteered to join the Free French forces.
The attacks by the Royal Air Force on the French Navy at Mers-el-Kebir and Dakar
caused bitterness in France and did not encourage former members of the French
Army to escape to Britain.
French colonial territories began to support Charles De Gaulle. This included
Chad, French Equatorial Africa, French Indochina and French territories in
India, New Caledonia and the New Hebrides.
Free French forces took part in fighting in Egypt, Syria, Eritrea and Ethiopia.
General Marie-Pierre Koenig and his Free French unit did particularly well
against General Erwin Rommel at Bir Hacheim in June 1942.
The Free French Navy (FNLF) which had fifty ships and some 3,600 men operated as
an auxiliary force to the Royal Navy during the war.
The French Resistance gradually grew in strength. General Charles De Gaulle was
keen to unite the different groups under his leadership. Jean Moulin, who had
spent time in London with De Gaulle, was sent back to France and was given the
task of uniting the various groups into one organization.
Moulin arranged meetings with people such as Henry Frenay (Combat), Emmanuel
d'Astier (Liberation-sud), Jean-Pierre Lévy (Francs-Tireur), Pierre Villon
(Front National), Daniel Mayer and Pierre Brossolette (Comité d'Action
Socialiste), Charles Tillon and Pierre Fabien (Frances-Tireurs Partisans) and
Charles Delestraint (Armée Secrete). After much discussion Moulin persuaded the
eight major resistance groups to form the Conseil National de la Resistance (CNR)
and got their agreement to join the Free French forces during the liberation of
After the D-day landings the Free French forces numbered over 400,000 men and
women. Of those, 230,000 were based in Algiers and could not take part in the
liberation of France."