French flag raised in York to mark wartime alliance ahead of the Grand Depart celebrations

Ian Reed, director of The Yorkshire Air Museum, and his colleague Karl Bullock hoist the French flag from the top of the old City of York Council offices in St Leonard’s Place

Ian and Kevin wrapped in the flag

First published in News York Press: Photograph of the Author by

THE French flag is flying over a landmark York building ahead of the arrival in the city of the Tour de France, to mark a wartime alliance.

Ian Reed, director of the Yorkshire Air Museum raised the French standard over the former council offices at St Leonard’s Place because the Grand Départ coincides exactly with the 70th anniversary of the formation of the two French Squadrons of RAF Bomber Command.

These squadrons, for which 2.300 French personnel were stationed at Elvington, wre one of the most significant links between France and York and the region as a whole.

346 Guyenne Squadron and 347 Tunisie Squadron’s carried out their first combined operations on July 1, 1944, bombing targets in their own homeland.

To celebrate this anniversary, the Yorkshire Air Museum has commissioned a series of events in the city including La Grand Soirée des Officiers Français, taking place in the De Grey Rooms ballroom on the evening of Wednesday, July 2.

Tickets are going fast, but some are still available at £80 each from the council on: 01904 554100 or lagrandesoiree@york.gov

Meanwhile in the early hours of Saturday, a Hawker Hurricane aircraft from the Yorkshire Air Museum will be placed on the roof of the café of York Theatre Royal to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the French Air Force arriving in York.

Comments (3)

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10:54am Wed 25 Jun 14

Madasanibbotson says...

In view of the French Air Traffic controllers strike that is causing problems for many of us. I think all references to France should be removed and a boycott commenced on all French products. The strike is costing Yorkshire let alone the UK a fortune.
Lets tell Le Tour to peddle off.
In view of the French Air Traffic controllers strike that is causing problems for many of us. I think all references to France should be removed and a boycott commenced on all French products. The strike is costing Yorkshire let alone the UK a fortune. Lets tell Le Tour to peddle off. Madasanibbotson
  • Score: 4

6:48pm Wed 25 Jun 14

karengrayson says...

they want to try flying ours now and then
they want to try flying ours now and then karengrayson
  • Score: 6

8:15pm Wed 25 Jun 14

MouseHouse says...

Flags and emblems can be so divisive. These really are best avoided wherever possible, and whilst I love the Tour de France coming here I am not in favour of flying their national flag. Our ours for that matter.
Flags and emblems can be so divisive. These really are best avoided wherever possible, and whilst I love the Tour de France coming here I am not in favour of flying their national flag. Our ours for that matter. MouseHouse
  • Score: -4

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