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The French Connection: Stories of the Occupied South of France, 1942-1945

Evening Talk by Jasper Humphreys, Director of the Marjan Study Group in the Department of War Studies, KCL

πŸ“… Thursday 19th September, 2024

πŸ•’ 18.30

πŸ“ The Kincaid Gallery, The Royal Green Jackets (Rifles) Museum

With a focus on the fascinating story of Nancy Wake, known to the Gestapo as ‘The White Mouse’, Jasper Humphreys explores stories of the occupied South of France, 1942-1945.

Against the beguiling backdrop of Provence’s lavender fields and the beaches of the Cote d’Azur, WW2 crashed into the South of France to create a distinctive identity of brutality, destruction and fighting. While the landings of the combined Free French and Americans in Operation Dragoon was a total triumph compared to the near disasters of Anzio and Salerno, collaborators with the Vichy government and German occupiers set up vicious gangs connected to heroin-smuggling syndicates; opposing them were the brave members of the Resistance whose activities included organising ‘escape lines’ for Allied airmen and an exotic cast of painters and writers that included Thomas Mann. Many owed their lives to Nancy Wake, the fearless and intrepid ‘White Mouse’ who in her latter years could be found sipping Gin and Tonics at the end of The American Bar in Mayfair’s Stafford Hotel. In this talk, Jasper Humphreys expertly explores these and other stories of the occupied South of France, 1942-1945.

Jasper Humphreys is Director of the Marjan Study Group in the Department of War Studies, King’s College, London, researching the connection between conflict and the environment. He is the son of King’s Royal Rifle Corps officer, Lt Col. Charles Humphreys (deceased), and was a newspaper journalist for many years before joining the War Studies department.Β  Jasper gave a talk at the museum last year on the military tactics used in operations to save the Rhino in South Africa.

Doors open at 17.45 for light refreshments. Tickets are available to purchase in our online store. Alternatively, they can be purchased over the phone from Monday to Friday between 10am and 4pm at 01962 828549.

If you’re unable to attend in the talk in person, you can also buy a ticket to watch the talk live online via Zoom. We will be able to take questions from Zoom during the Q&A section of the talk. If you wish to attend the talk via Zoom, simply select ‘Zoom’ under ticket price when checking out in our online shop.

Image Credit: Photograph of Nancy Wake, 'The White Mouse'; Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons