Author Archives: Jim McNeill

About Jim McNeill

I am a blogger on 'The Social History of the Touraine region of France (37)' and also 'The Colonial History of Pennsylvania and the life & Family of William Penn'. I am a Director of Fresh Ground Group Ltd.

Breaking news….opening up the Vichy regime archives


Today, France is finally opening up police and ministerial archives from the Vichy regime which collaborated with Nazi occupation forces in World War Two. More than 200,000 declassified documents are being made public. They date from the 1940-1944 regime of … Continue reading

Posted in Demarcation Line, Jewish history, Jewish persicution | Leave a comment

….a little more on Marcel Marceau


This portrait of Marcel Marceau, using oils on concrete, is by Francine Mayran. She painted it in order to “transmit his courage against the devil, and his humanity which stayed stronger than Nazi barbarism”. It is part of a series, … Continue reading

Posted in Jewish history, Jewish persicution | Leave a comment

Marcel Marceau ~ une vie extraordinaire


Marcel Marceau’s extraordinary talent for pantomime entertained audiences around the world for over sixty years but did you know that it also saved hundreds of Jewish children during the Holocaust. Born to a Jewish family in Strasbourg, France in 1923, … Continue reading

Posted in Arts, Jewish history, Jewish persicution, Off the wall historical stuff | Leave a comment

Liberation celebrations, Descartes, 1944


Here’s a fascinating photo of the liberation celebrations of Descartes in on a sunny autumn day in September 1944. The population of Descartes at the time was about 1,500 and it seems that up to a half of them were … Continue reading

Posted in Descartes/La Haye, Resistance in the Touraine Region, World War II | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

The Touraine: host to the world’s first solar powered home…..in1864!


The next time you are in the city of Tours take a trip along the rue Bernard Palissy and stop outside of number 4. There you will see an old stone plaque on the facade of a house: “A. Mouchot … Continue reading

Posted in 19th Century Touraine, Augustin Mouchot, Electricity generation, Solar Power, Tours | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Yet more on old french signs


Hi all, Quite some time back I posted a blog about old signage in the Touraine region. You may be interested in visiting Poitou-Charentes In Photos where the author gives some insights into the history of these ‘ghost signs’; see … Continue reading

Posted in 20th Century | Tagged | Leave a comment

Gaston Monmousseau (1883-1960): trade unionist and political agitator of the Touraine.


Gaston René Léon Monmousseau was born in Luynes on 17th January 1883. He was the son of John and Mary Silvine Monmousseau. Gaston spent his childhood in Azay-sur-Cher. After leaving school he was apprenticed to a carpenter from Luynes. After … Continue reading

Posted in 20th Century, Azay-sur-Cher, French Communist Party, Gaston Monmousseau, Luynes, Transport ~ roal. rail, water, World War I, World War II | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment