Sunday, January 07, 2007

Maréchal Joffre's Statue


At the end of the Champs de Mars in the 7th arrondissement, there is l'école Militaire (military school) and a beautiful statue of Macheral Joseph Joffre (1852 – 1931) who is famous for having contributed to an important victory – the one of “La Marne” - by requisitioning all the Parisian taxis to bring soldiers to the battle fields!

PS: I participate in the Festival de Romans, a new festival that takes place in France and which aims at being to the Internet what the Festival de Cannes is to the movie business. If you care to vote for Paris Daily Photo, go there.


38 comments:

  1. I have heard of this man and the story of the taxis. My Grandfather and his brother joined the Australia infantry and were sent to the battlefields of France in 1916. My great uncle was wounded at Villers Brettonneux, transported to the military hospital at Boulogne-sur-Mer where he died - he is buried in the military cemetery there. My Grandfather received terrible wounds and was sent to England where he spent months recovering. He then was sent back to Australia in 1919. He limped for the rest of his life and had rashes etc from the effects of the terrible gassing that the Allies suffered on the Western Front.

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  2. eric, you are one of the few people i feel happy voting for :)

    barbara

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  3. Interesting (and terrible) story about your grandfather, Jules.

    Eric, thanks for the send-off! I'm addicted to blogs so I had to post one more time before I fly away tomorrow afternoon!

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  4. J'ai le grand plaisir de soumettre ma voix pour votre travail merveilleux, Monsieur.

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  5. Oh, my goodness, has the Marechal fallen off the horse? I can only see his arm! ;)

    Will most certainly support your blog, Eric!

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  6. Kate - the really sad and ironic thing was that their father, my greatgrandfather had emigrated to Australia from Germany as a young man!

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  7. Kind of funny France Tourism website Cest So Paris.

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  8. Wow, the way that horse is looking down at me, that is way cool! Best to you in this contest, Eric!
    -Kim

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  9. Good luck on the Festival de Romans. You have my vote.

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  10. That's a funny image you evoke Eric. I can barely get a taxi to take me to the airport and here they were taking peole to the battle fields!

    Maybe they have passed this story down among the taxi driver families with some sort of folk-lore, "Better ask where the client wants to go before letting them in your cab! Remember what happened to your great-grandfather...."

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  11. I used to live in Joffre St in a suburn of sydney.

    My grandfather was also in France during WW1.

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  12. Très belle photo de cette statue! Mais il me semble que l'initiative des taxis de la Marne vienne du Général Galliéni commandant en chef de Paris en 1914 (et que Joffre y était même au début opposé). La décision de Galliéni d'amener via les taxis parisiens alla renforcer les effectifs de Joffre et permit à ce dernier de remporter la bataille de la Marne.

    Votre blog est superbe!

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  13. Pssst...that was my dog's favorite statue. But we always ramassé, unlike the locals;-)

    My vote's for you, Eric!

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  14. Just gave you my vote.
    And I see this statue is very close to where we're renting our apt. in March. I'll have to check it out...in person.

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  15. Did you get to wear the "crown" from La Galette des Rois..Eric??? The voting...well, three computers...three votes! Voila!!

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  16. HEY! I saw that statue!!! And HEY! We stayed in the 7th!!! And HEY! I voted for you Eric...twice! LOL! And HEY Michael...you crack me up! If I were a taxi-driver and I saw you hailing (where DO you hail from anyway? LOL!) I'd pick you up in an instant...you're too CUTE to pass by! ;) I'm gonna go vote AGAIN...I didn't see any rule that says only ONCE...did I?

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  17. I agree Ame, he's much too cute to pass by. Almost worth changing profession to Parisian taxi driver!
    This clear, sharp shot with its limited palette of black white and blue appeals to my love of the simple. Interesting info too as usual from Eric, who most certainly has my vote.

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  18. interesting angle. Michael you're too funny.

    Eric, you get my vote, too!

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  19. Ooooh Michael! Looks like the ladies of PDP find you very attractive! :oP

    I feel like a winner! I was Eric's 100th vote! Woooo! If I can vote more I will.

    I'm digging the minimalistic nature of this photo too. I've got a headache right now so I'm sure a ptoho that's too busy wouldn't be very good for me right now.

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  20. Well who can blame us Soosha. Where is he though when we girls would like to be chatting?

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  21. Wow, more than a 100 votes in one day, you really are nice people! ;)

    Thanks a million, really, it's very important to me.

    On a less merry topic, I am always moved - and grateful - when I hear stories of people's relatives who came to France to fight - and sometimes lose their life.

    Why did people located as far from Europe as Australia decided to join the army and come and fight for us?
    Maybe Sally and Jules have the answer?

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  22. Sorry ladies, had to unglue myself from my chair and computer to do some other things today. I'm sure I've never seen taxi drivers as lovely as you all here in Paris!

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  23. I think the location of this statue is not random : the Eiffel Tower played an important role by allowing to intercept a german transmission and to locate the place to go with the famous taxis...

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  24. Michael, where would you like me to take you today Sir? (flutter of eyelashes) lol

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  25. Eric,

    How dare you comparing Canne and the all blog things !!

    Sam_

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  26. When I checked out Macheral Joffre I was surprised to see that he and my great grandfather, who was born in Alsace Lorraine, could pass for identical twins. Julius Karl Von Thaer was his name. I was about 6 when he died so I remember him fairly well.

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  27. Dear Folk!
    How you have met Christmas?
    You have brought a smile to my face all year long. ... I never would have met such a fun, interesting group of people.
    Mark Oem

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  28. Eric, In Australia's case it was because we were hardly more than still a colony of Britain, and many people regarded themselves as British. We went to fight for "King and Country".

    At the same time, having come out of a rural depression in the 1880s, many farm boys were keen for adventure and recruiting played that up.

    Australian troops were paid much more than British (which was I believe a source of resentment).

    My grandad always had a keen sense of duty and doing what was "right" , and as he was an expert horseman, he joined the Light Horse (sort of a cavalry), which was disbanded when the troops went to Gallipoli. In France he was a driver, which meant driving th limbers which took the artillery up to the front. They were, of course, horse driven.

    Some joined up because they thought it was a free passage to The Old Country (England) and were all convinced by the politicians that it would "all be over by Christmas" (at first). Then after it dragged on and on, people went as a sense of duty under HEAVY recruitment persuasion and not wanting to be seen to be shirking one's duty (Australia voted twice against conscription ie forced enlistment).

    But, in short, it was because we were "British".

    Maybe we are in Iraq now because our politicians think we are "American"???

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  29. Interesting Sally. Thanks for the update.

    "My grandad always had a keen sense of duty and doing what was "right"" - I would have liked your Grandpa!

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