Kingswear welcomes relatives of those who served with the 23rd MTB
The parish of St Thomas of Canterbury, Kingswear, welcomed about 40 relatives of those who served with the 23rd MTB from France earlier this month. The group were members of the ‘Fondation de la France Libre’ who had come to commemorate one of the little known episodes of WW2; the establishment by General de Gaulle, and headed by his son Philippe, of the 23rd MTB Flotilla of the Force Navale Française Libre in Kingswear. The force coordinated missions in Northern Brittany and beyond, picked up allied POWs, and supported the Résistance especially around the Channel Islands.
Last year, a plaque was erected by the quayside at Kingswear in time for Remembrance Sunday and this year, the association presented the parish with a flag of the ‘Pavillon de Beaupre’, featuring the Cross of Lorraine as a companion to the white Naval Ensign used at Remembrance Day Services. To mark the occasion, members of the church welcomed the party and the Revd. John Gay, Team Vicar of the Brixham Mission Community, led a service in French which turned out to be the highlight of the visit.