5 May 2011

Charles de Gaulle - Soldier, Statesman and One of The Wild Geese

Charles de Gaulle
Charles de Gaulle was a very strong political figure in France. He was a General, Statesman and helped to reform the French government following the Second World War. He was also one of The Wild Geese.

He was intensely proud of his Irish connections. De Gaulle was a descendent of the MacCartans of Kinelarty, Co. Down. The MacCartans supported the cause of James II and when this cause was lost, Colonel John MacCartan and his son Anthony escaped to France. Anthony was just 17 when he joined the Irish Regiment of the French Army.

Twenty years later Anthony was serving as a captain in the Lyonnaise regiment when he married Suzanne De Coe Lagan, daughter of a Breton father and an Irish mother. His son Joseph became a physician in Lille, Northern France.

Joseph's daughter Marie Angelique married Henri Louis Delannoy in 1829 and her daughter became the mother of Jeanne Maillot, and the grandmother of 'Le Grand Charles'.

Charles de Gaulle visiting Ireland

The former Irish President Eamon de Valera's papers show how pleased De Gaulle was of his Co. Down ancestry. At a state dinner in Dublin, the general said: 'Perhaps it's the Irish blood that flows in my veins, because we have always come back to our origins. Ireland holds a special place in the hearts of all Frenchmen'.

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