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Free French?

 
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David McNay
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Joined: 14 Dec 2006
Posts: 7603
Location: Lanarkshire, Scotland

PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 10:39 am    Post subject: Free French? Reply with quote

Okay, here's one for you all.

There's an entry for the 2nd World war on the rutherglen Memorial which has got me intrigued.

The details are:

R H Richard
Unit: La Combattante
Rank: Qm Tor (or Qm Tcr)

Any guesses?

A Google search shows that La Combattante was the name of a Free French destroyer which was sunk in 1945. But it may also be that La combattante has been used to denote someone fighting with the Free French, so this might not be a naval death.

I'm stumped, both on the unit and the rank.

Any guesses? If I can't find anything I'll resort to checking the local papers, but that'll involve me doing a bit of travelling and then scanning my way through the entire war years worth of papers. Not something I'm relishing having to do.
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Adam Brown
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Joined: 14 Dec 2006
Posts: 7353
Location: Edinburgh (From Sutherland)

PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 11:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

From Wikipedia

French Navy
In the French Navy, Quartermaster (Quartier-maître) is a junior rank equivalent to a French Army Corporal. The French rank has nothing to do with supplies. This rank is also used by many other navies based on the French Navy. Quartermaster was similarly a junior naval rank in the German navy.

Tcr or Tor might refer to his speciality. By that I mean something like Telegraphist, Cook, Writer etc.

Adam
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Adam Brown
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Joined: 14 Dec 2006
Posts: 7353
Location: Edinburgh (From Sutherland)

PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 11:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

And from here

http://www.memorials.inportsmouth.co.uk/churches/st_anns/combattante.htm

A memorial, which lists the names of the men who died on La Combattante, stands on the waterfront at Courseulles-sur-Mer, Normandy. Included amongst the names are two members of the Royal Navy, PO Radar Smith N and Signalman TO Cleverley FC. The rest are all Free French.

I wonder if QM Richard is listed on this memorial?

Adam
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Adam Brown
Curator


Joined: 14 Dec 2006
Posts: 7353
Location: Edinburgh (From Sutherland)

PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 11:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

From

http://www.normandie44lamemoire.com/versionanglaise/fichesvillesus/courseulus2.html

You can see a photo of the plaque on the memorial in Normandy and Quartier-maitre Raymond Richard is listed on it so we now have his rank, name and date of death, February 23, 1945.

It still doesn't explain why a Rutherglen man was a junior rating on a Free French ship?

If you look at the plaque the two RN men are listed seperately so he wasn't RN.

Adam
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Adam Brown
Curator


Joined: 14 Dec 2006
Posts: 7353
Location: Edinburgh (From Sutherland)

PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 11:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Raymond Richard could be a French name and he might not have been from Rutherglen.

Perhaps there was a Mme Richard who came from Rutherglen? The Free French Navy was based in Greenock wasn't it which isn't that far away.

If he married a Rutherglen woman whilst based in Scotland that could explain his presence.

I've seen that on my local memorial where a Yorkshireman who served in an Australian unit is listed because he was the husband of a local woman.

Adam
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David McNay
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Joined: 14 Dec 2006
Posts: 7603
Location: Lanarkshire, Scotland

PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 1:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Adam Brown wrote:
And from here

http://www.memorials.inportsmouth.co.uk/churches/st_anns/combattante.htm

A memorial, which lists the names of the men who died on La Combattante, stands on the waterfront at Courseulles-sur-Mer, Normandy. Included amongst the names are two members of the Royal Navy, PO Radar Smith N and Signalman TO Cleverley FC. The rest are all Free French.

I wonder if QM Richard is listed on this memorial?

Adam


I know that site well. I'm even mentioned on it:

http://www.memorials.inportsmouth.co.uk/churches/royal_garrison/simpson2.htm

You lot frighten me you're so good at this. Well done folks, now we at least know who he was. Now all we need to do is figure out the Rutherglen connection.
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apanderson
Administrator


Joined: 21 Dec 2006
Posts: 2570
Location: Stirlingshire

PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 5:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Anyone with a few spare SP credits could look for a marriage . . . . ?
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