02 décembre 2017

French Foreign Legion talk with Ray LARGAN

At our meeting of the Cercle Français on 8 November, Ray Largan gave an excellent history of the French Foreign Legion. There were some interesting revelations such as the fact that the soldiers do not swear allegiance to France. This is highly unusual for an army! Interestingly, the soldiers in the French Foreign Legion march at 88 paces per minute while soldiers in other armies march at 120 paces per minute. There are 11 regiments of 7,700 men.

The Legion was initially stationed in Algeria and has been deployed in many conflicts and wars including the Second Italian War of Independence in 1859, the Battle of Camerone in 1863 in Mexico when 62 Legion soldiers were up against 1000 regular Mexican soldiers and 500 cavalry. The French men bravely stood their ground and as a result 41 were killed, 21 were wounded and there were only three survivors. It was interesting and surprising to learn that this battle has been commemorated in both France and Mexico on 30 April every year since. The Mexicans were very gracious to the survivors, even forming a guard of honour for the Legion soldiers! 

The French Foreign Legion was deployed to the Franco-Prussian War in 1870. However, Prussia was victorious and French dominance came to an end in that area. The war also led to the unification of Germany and the loss of Napoleon the Third as leader. France then further expanded into Africa and the Far East and acquired new territory in Southeast Asia. This became known as French Indochina. Ray spoke about the ground battle of Dien Bien Phu which took place in Vietnam in 1954. This battle was disastrous for the Legion and led to the surrender of most of the French forces. Following this, the government resigned and the new government supported French withdrawal from Indo-China. 

Thank you to Ray for the very interesting talk which was enjoyed by all!

Reviewer : Vikki NELSON

02 novembre 2017

Bulletin mensuel novembre 2017

Chers Amis,
The next meeting of the Cercle Français de Belfast will be …
on Mercredi (Wednesday) 8 novembre 2017 à 19h.30 
in Dark Horse Coffee House, 

Topic: The French Foreign Legion
Speaker: Ray LARGAN 
Ray reflects on the origin, key events, both real and imagined, and the ongoing contribution of the Legion and its international recruits. 

Quiz Night … and there's more!
Thanks to all those who came to our table quiz on 25 October. For the picture that seemed to stump everyone, on Louis XV's "petite maîtresse", you may be interested in this article on Marie-Louise O'Murphy: http://www.leparisien.fr/informations/le-tableau-qui-a-enflamme-le-roi-03-01-2015-4415259.php

If you enjoy quizzes, please do support our friends at the Belfast Frenchie Club who are also hosting a quiz on Wednesday 15 November, at 19.30 in the Dark Horse Café. See their Facebook group for more details.

Bal Feirste: Ball
Annette from Bal Feirste has been in touch to remind us that their next Workshop/Bal is on ...

Date: Sunday, 12 November

Venue: Sunflower Club, Union St, Belfast (upstairs)
Dance workshop: 17.00-17.30
Bal: 17.30-19.00

(this is a free event, donations welcome - live music throughout)
Dance workshop - no experience or partner needed. This month the workshop will focus on the Mazurka.

Bal - a time to practise your moves, not just the dances of this month, but others covered to date, guidance will be given where necessary. 

Staying on a musical note …

The William Kennedy Piping Festival (16th - 19th Nov.) in Armagh has an evening devoted to the ..
Sounds and Tastes of France
A musical and gastronomic tour through the French regions 
For more information and to book tickets see: 

Looking forward to seeing you on Wednesday 8th November.

À bientôt, Philip