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PRESIDENT CHARLES DE GAULLE (FRANCE) - AUTOGRAPH 02/07/1942 CO-SIGNED BY: FRANCOIS COULET, ADMIRAL EDWARD RATCLIFFE (1ST BARON MOUTEVANS) EVANS, COLONEL BERTRAM J.T. FORD, W. B. NEALE, SIDNEY A. WRIGHT, ARTHUR J. RYCROFT, HARRY ERRINGTON, GEORGE ALBERT FEARN, JOHN HADLEY - HFSID 29446

As leader of Free France during World War II, the General and a key aide attend a reception given by the Society of St George, a British patriotic organization. Besides the future French President and his key aide, François Coulet, signers include English heroes of both World Wars.

Sale Price $1,600.00

Reg. $2,000.00

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CHARLES de GAULLE
As leader of Free France during World War II, the General and a key aide attend a reception given by the Society of St George, a British patriotic organization. Besides the future French President and his key aide, François Coulet, signers include English heroes of both World Wars.
Signature: "7-2-42/C. de Gaulle", 1p, 5½x7. Also signed: "F. Coulet" and on verso "Edw R. Evans", "Bertram J. T. Ford", "W. B. Neale", "Sidney A. Wright", "Arthur J. Rycroft" "Harry Errington G. C.", "Albert Fearn" and "John Hadley." Two unidentified signers. In all 12 signatures. Noted at lower margin in calligraphy: "Visit of/General de Gaulle/Saturday, 7th February 1942". CHARLES DE GAULLE (1890-1970), the leader of the Free French Forces in World War II, headed two provisional governments after the war (1945-1946) and then went into retirement. On June 1, 1958, De Gaulle came out of retirement. He served as Prime Minister from June 1, 1958 to January 8, 1959, when he became President under a new Constitution, which he drafted, for a Fifth French Republic. A veteran of World War I, De Gaulle emerged in the inter-war years as an isolated advocate of mobile warfare in a French army committed to static defenses. As German armor was overwhelming France in May and June of 1940, De Gaulle led one of the few effective counter-attacks. His radio address from London, calling on the French people to resist the occupation and fight on, is still read in France on patriotic occasions. Despite, or perhaps because of, his vulnerable status as commander of a fighting force in exile, De Gaulle stubbornly insisted on recognition of France as an equal belligerent power with himself as its leader. These attitudes persisted when he did lead an independent France, acquiring nuclear weapons, withdrawing his nation from NATO's integrated command structure, and vetoing Britain's admission to the European Community because he thought Britain too subservient to the US. Who but De Gaulle could have written a history of the French Army without mentioning the Battle of Waterloo? De Gaulle was a realist, however, granting independence to Algeria despite the large French population which had lived there for generations. De Gaulle resigned as President in April 1969, following rejection of his referendum proposing changes in the French constitution, but France is still governed in large measure by the constitutional system he devised, the longest period of stability the nation has experienced since the Revolution of 1789. FRANÇOIS COULET (1906-1984) a French diplomat, joined De Gaulle's Free French forces in June 1940, immediately after the Franco-German armistice. Although he led combat forces on a few occasion, his chief responsibility was to oversee transition from Vichy to Free French rule in liberated territories. Parachuting into Normandy on D-Day, he not only replaced Vichy officials with supporters of DeGaulle, but outmaneuvered US President Roosevelt's efforts to establish a new French administration independent of DeGaulle. He held the title Commissioner of the Republic. Admiral EDWARD RATCLIFFE EVANS (1881-1957), later Baron Mountevans, was second in command of Robert Scott's ill-fated second Antarctic Expedition (1910-1913), part of the last resupply team to see Scott alive, barely escaping death himself on the return trek. A Royal Navy officer in World War I, he was promoted to Captain and awarded the DSO after a destroyer battle off Dover (April 1917) in which he sank one German destroyer and rammed another, engaging the enemy crew in close combat. (A national hero, he wrote a book about this exploit.) During World War II, he participated in the Norway expedition. Retiring from service in 1941, he became London's Commissioner of Civil Defense. Sir BERTRAM J. T. FORD (1869-1955), a retired British Army colonel, was Managing Director of the Birmingham Post and Mail during World War II. HARRY ERRINGTON (1910-2004) was a volunteer firefighter during the London Blitz, the only firefighter to receive the George Cross - the civilian equivalent of the Victoria Cross - during World War II. He later worked on Britain's Olympic Committee, especially in preparation for the London games of 1948, and served as treasurer of the Victoria and George Cross Association. ALBERT FEARN, an Air Raid Warden in Coventry, also received the George Cross for rescuing survivors from a bomb shelter during the Blitz. After his death, one of those survivors used his life savings to purchase the George Cross, donating it to the City of Coventry, where it is now displayed. 3¼-inch separation at mid-horizontal fold touches 2 signatures. Mounting tape at left and right margins, pencil erasures at lower margin. Toned. Edges lightly worn. Otherwise, fine condition.

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