In 1960 France issued the fourth of its sets of stamps featuring heroes of the Resistance during WW2. Here is Edmond Debeaumarché (1906-59), a French postal worker who created Resistance networks and organised sabotage. He also obtained codebooks of secret German codes and used them to decipher telegrams whose content he passed to the Allies. He was arrested in 1944 but did not break under intense torture. Along with other prisoners he was sent to work on V-1s and V-2s but was tricked into revealing Resistance secrets to an informer, and was sentenced to death, though the sentence was not carried out. After a period of solitary confinement he was freed by the Allies in April 1945. He was decorated by both France and the USA.
From the same 1960 set, Pierre Masse (1879-1942). A successful lawyer who became a member of the French senate in 1939, after the fall of France he protested to Marshal Pétain about the treatment of people in his family with Jewish blood (which he had himself). In 1941 all members of the Vichy Parliament were required to declare if they had Jewish ancestry: he again protested. In August that year he was arrested. In captivity he did what he could to help other prisoners. He died in Auschwitz the following year.
Maurice Ripoche (1895-1944) features on a third stamp from the same 1960 set. He was an engineer and aviator and became aide-de-camp to General de Gaulle. High up in the French Resistance, he was arrested in December 1942. Attempts to free him failed, and he was guillotined by the Germans in 1944.
A fourth stamp from the same set shows Léonce Vieljeux (1865-1944). A successful businessman who was highly decorated for service in WW1, he became mayor of La Rochelle in 1930. After the fall of France he resisted German orders to hoist a Hitler flag outside the town hall, and went on to obstruct the distribution of Nazi propaganda. He was ejected from his post, and in 1941 expelled from La Rochelle. He returned there and was arrested in 1944 for protecting members of the Resistance and executed in September that year. There is an association which remembers him annually on the day of his death.
Last Edit: Jun 29, 2016 10:03:07 GMT -5 by Deleted
The final stamp from that 1960 set shows René Bonpain (1908-1943), a priest who played a major part in the Resistance in the Dunkirk area, among other things helping many people to escape to safety. After other leaders of his group were arrested in 1942 he refused to flee, because he was concerned others might be held as hostages for his surrender, or executed in his place. His own arrest followed, and he was shot in March 1943. There is a monument to him in one of the suburbs of Dunkirk.
This 1963 French Red Cross stamp shows Jacques Amyot (1513-1593). He came from a relatively poor background. He became a tutor to the children of a leading French politician and then, through the influence of Margaret de France, Duchess of Berry and a daughter of King Francis I, was appointed professor of Greek and Latin at Bourges. Francis I subsequently appointed him to an abbacy. He took up the role of tutor to the family of King Henry II of France. He was made chief royal almoner, and, despite his modest background, appointed to an aristocratic chivalric order, the Order of the Holy Spirit. He is best known for his translations of Greek and Roman classics, and in particular of the lives of Plutarch: his translation of Plutarch's lives of the ancient Greeks and Romans was used by Sir Thomas North as the basis for an Elizabethan translation into English on which Shakespeare drew very heavily in a number of plays. It is no exaggeration to say that without Amyot - and the Thomas North translation - we would not have Julius Caesar, Coriolanus and Anthony and Cleopatra, nor some of the great speeches in some of Shakespeare's other plays.
Last Edit: Jun 30, 2016 12:49:40 GMT -5 by Deleted
This 1994 stamp was issued for the 150th anniversary of the death of Laurent Mourguet (1769-1844). Mourguet came from a fairly poor background - his family were silk weavers. He was unable to sign his name at the time of his marriage in 1788. After attempting various other ways of making a living, he started to extract teeth in 1797 - the money was made not from the extractions (which were free) but from the sale of the drugs to ease the subsequent pain. To increase his custom, he started a puppet show in his premises, and this was so popular that he became a full-time puppeteer in 1804, using scenarios from the lives of ordinary people. The most famous of his puppet characters was Guignol, who practised various trades and spoke up for justice for the common people, and Guignol appears on the stamp. In his puppet shows Mourguet used the dialect of his home town, Lyon. Children and grandchildren of his carried on the puppet tradition he established.
Louis de Broglie (1892-1987) was a leading mathematician and physicist who did pioneering work on quantum theory and the nature of matter. Among other things, he postulated that all matter has properties of waves. This 1994 Europa stamp shows part of his wave equation which became a fundamental part of wave mechanics. It takes more expert brains than mine to explain the equation.
A 1994 stamp issued to mark the opening of the Channel Tunnel linking England and France. It shows a lion, symbol of Britain, shaking the claw of a Gallic rooster (a bird which appears on a number of French stamps in a less-cartoon-like design).
Greetings Mr. @michaelcayley, . Bravo! Bravo! Please note, there are two bravos. First, for not clumping a large slathering of stamps on one image, thus getting to see a distinct view of the stamp. Second, a precise account of exactly what we are suppose to see and the reasoning behind the design while looking at the stamp. Thank you most kindly. . Respectfully,
A 1996 stamp for the 1500th anniversary of the baptism of Clovis I. Clovis, who lived from about 466 to 511, was the first ruler to unite the tribes of the Franks and the founder of the Merovingian dynasty, which lasted a couple of centuries or so. His court was dominated by Arians - who believed that Christ was created by God the Father and so subordinate to him. His second wife, Clotilde, was a princess of Burgundy and a Catholic, and persuaded her husband to convert from Arianism to Catholicism. On his death his kingdom splintered again.
This 1997 stamp was issued to celebrate and encourage "participatory innovation" - what most of us in the English-speaking world would call suggestion schemes. It shows three wire figures holding up a wire framework against a colourful background.
I suspect this was one of the more politically controversial stamps France has issued in the last 25 years: a 1997 stamp honouring French soldiers fighting in North Africa between 1952 and 1962. This was a period of brutal fighting and reprisals in the Algerian struggle for independence; and of the struggle for independence by Morocco (where the French protectorate ended in 1956) and Tunisia (which gained it in 1956). After 1962 some 900,000 French settlers, some whose families had lived in Algeria for several generations, fled Algeria for metropolitan France.
A 1997 stamp for the world rowing championships at Lake Aiguebelette in Savoy in Southern France. Note the socked-on-the-nose cancel from Bièvres, Essonne in the Île-de-France (the region around Paris), a village with a current population of just over 5100, an important photography museum, and a museum of old tools.
A 1997 stamp showing an old horse-drawn fish cart used by fishmongers of Boulogne. The design seeks to give an impression of the speed with which the fish were rushed to market. Note the child and dog on the hood of the cart.
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