In a well-attended public ceremony held at the French Consulate in St Helier, three French soldiers from Jersey received medals this week in recognition of their deeds at the front.
Jean Launay of the 136eme Regiment d’Infanterie (RI) won the Croix de Guerre and Victor Rault of the 48eme RI won the Medaille Militaire. Aimable Levêque of the 46eme RI, who is just 21-years-old, won both the Medaille Militaire and Croix de Guerre, the latter with Palm.
Monsieur Jouve, the Island’s French Consul, presented the awards and thanked the men for their commitment. He told the assembled audience, which included 30 or 40 veterans from the 1870/71 Franco-Prussian War, that confidence in the French Commander-in-Chief General Joffre remained high. Victory was expected in 1916, Jouve asserted.
Continuing, he remarked that France had called up 30 annual classes for war service so far. More would be needed, however, including any members of Jersey’s French community who had not yet come forward to register with the Consulate. Failure to undertake military service was an extremely serious matter, and he had the full support of Jersey’s authorities to identify anyone eligible who had not reported for duty.
Associated record: D/S/B1/1034 Aliens Registration card of Armand François Fromager, a French resident of Jersey. Armand's card shows that he arrived in Jersey in 1908 and began his military service in 1911. As a young man of military age it is likely that he was among those who were called up.