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Thursday, 14 January 2016

U3A and Marechal Joffre

Good afternoon and a belated happy new year to you. I really hope you are all very well, not suffering from the winter and have lost any post-Christmas blues.

This morning I travelled into the beautiful City of York to attend the U3A York Military History Group talk on the bombing of York in 1942, part of the German bombing offencive known as the Baedeker Blitz. This was an excellent talk. Malcolm the author of the talk, had spent many hours and much effort going through many archives and official documents and reports. However, this does mean that as I am delivering the February talk, I have four weeks to prepare and rehearse my talk on the Battle of Verdun. Oh boy.

I have been looking for pictures and photos to illustrate the talk. I came across this magnificent portrait of Papa Joffre, painted by Henri Jacquier.

The original is in the Musée de l'Armée in Paris. I think it was painted just after the Great War; he has a very fine collection of medals, including the Commemorative Medal for the War of 1870 - 71 and the Madagascar Medal. The large star on his left chest is his Order of the Bath.

I have finished the research for the talk and written half of it, I believe I am on schedule to finish in time.

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