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The Xtra Diary: Anglo-French ceremony in memory of Foch

Statue of Marshal Ferdinand Foch; Below: Her Excellency Sylvie Bermann and the Lord Mayor of Westminster, Audrey Lewis

Published: 14 November, 2014

TUESDAY, Remem­brance Day, saw the Lord Mayor of Westminster, Cllr Audrey Lewis and the French Ambassador to the United Kingdom, Her Excellency Sylvie Bermann commemora­ting the life of Marshal Ferdinand Foch. 

They rededicated a statue of the man who, as Commander in Chief of the Allied Armies in 1918, directed the strategy which ultimately led to victory over Nazi Germany. 

Foch (1851-1929) is the only Frenchman to be made an honorary British Field Marshal and the leadership and courage he showed in the First World War meant that his statue by Georges Malissard was the first in London to a Frenchman who fought in the war.

The sculpture, near Victoria station, has been cleaned, the area around it restored with new paving and a new inscription was unveiled by the Lord Mayor and the ambassador.

Cllr Lewis said: “It is befitting that today… we honour the life of Marshal Ferdinand Foch. Without his co-ordination and determination, who knows how long the war could have dragged on, and how many more men and women could have lost their lives.”

Pearly royalty help with poppies

IT was a great week for the London Pearly Kings and Queens Society, who collected for the poppy appeal in Covent Garden. 

The charity’s members spent a week selling the poppies for the Royal British Legion outside St Paul’s church.


Appeal: from left, Pat Jolly, Darren Walters. Carole Jolly, George Davison, Bob Paice. Picture: John Walters

They raised £4,244 for the legion by giving their time for the cause and Darren Walters the Pearly Prince of Finsbury gave a week up of his annual leave to sell the poppies. 

His father, the Pearly King of Finsbury John Walters, who took the photograph, told Diary that it was magnificent the way the tourists and residents of the West End supported them and he sent a big thank-you to all those who made donations. 

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