Chateau recalls historic Anglo-French meeting before the Marne

Posted on on 04 September 2014
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The Chateau which hosted a historic meeting between the British and French military commanders, as the Battle of the Marne was getting under way, is specially open to the public for a weekend of Centenary remembrance.

On September 5th 1914, General Joseph Joffre travelled to Vaux-le-Pénil to urge Sir John French to support the counter-attack against the Germans.

Sir John had been planning to pull out of the front line to allow the British Expeditionary Force to refit after the Battles of Mons and Le Cateau, and the long retreat to the Marne.

Accounts vary of Joffre's words to his British counterpart, from 'France is begging you' to a warning that England's honour was at stake.

Sir John, unable to express himself in French, exclaimed to a nearby officer: "Damn it, I can't explain. Tell him that all man can do our fellows will do."

British troops advanced the following day.

In honour of the Centenary, the Chateau at Vaux-le-Pénil, near Melun, will be open to the public on September 6th and 7th 2014.

A series of events, including music and drama, will be taking place. Details are available on the Mairie de Vaux-le-Pénil website.

Source: Mission Centenaire 14-18; Mairie de Vaux-le-Pénil; Wikipedia

Image courtesy of Mission Centenaire 14-18

Posted by: Peter Alhadeff, Centenary News