• Plage Bonaparte à Plouha (Côtes d'Armor) - Haut-lieu de la Résistance

  • Sacy-le-Grand (Oise) - Mémorial en souvenir du F/O H. H. MacKenzie (RCAF)

  • Supermarine LF Mk.Vb Spitfire EP120 - G-LFVB - (The Fighter Collection)

  • Le Cardonnois (Somme) - Stèle à la mémoire de l'équipage du Boeing B-17 #42-31325, 452nd Bomb Group

  • B-17G-85-VE 44-8846 - F-AZDX - (FTV)

 

20th June 2015

 

Saint Just-en-Chaussée (Oise)

 

Ceremony in memory of Dr. Edmond CAILLARD

 

 

                                                                                                              Copyright © 2015 - Association des Sauveteurs d'Aviateurs Alliés - All rights reserved -
                                                                                                              En français france

 

Dr Edmond Caillard
Dr. Edmond Caillard

 

In September 2008, during a meeting with Mr. Frans Desmedt, General Councillor of the Oise department and Mayor of Saint Just-en-Chaussée, a promise was made to the children of Dr. Edmond Caillard to honour the memory of their father, a great hero of the local Resistance.

After consultation, a place was finally selected. This was the new neighbourhood bordering the rue de Plainval but we first had to wait for buildings to be completed. The years passed and a part of the promise became a reality when a street was named after Doctor Caillard. A memorial in the same area was also planned.

Saint Just-en-Chaussee - The street named after Dr. Caillard

Everything finally materialized on Saturday 20th June 2015 with the inauguration of this memorial recalling the courageous actions during World War II of this great doctor. The ceremony saw the presence of many members of his family who came from New Caledonia and different regions of metropolitan France.

A large crowd had gathered to attend this official tribute honoured by the presence of Mr. Edouard Courtial, former Minister and new President of the County Council.

Mr Frans Desmedt, mayor of the town and now Vice President of this same County Council, began the ceremony with words of welcome and the memorial was unveiled, both by the children of Dr. Caillard and the elected officials.

Frans Desmedt, the Mayor of Saint Just-en-Chaussee

The welcome near the memorial by Mr. Frans Desmedt

The unveiling of the memorial in memory of Dr Caillard

The unveiling of the memorial

Saint Just-en-Chaussee - The unveiling of the memorial

 

Minute of silence in memory of Dr. Caillard

Observing the minute of silence

The children of Dr. Caillard

François, Odile and Jean Paul, three of the four children of Dr. Caillard

The family of Dr. Caillard

The family of Dr. Caillard gathered around the memorial

 

After the laying of wreaths at the memorial, Jean Paul Caillard, a native of St Just and eldest son of the doctor, thanked the municipality on behalf of his entire family, not hiding his emotion at seeing the family reunited on this day of commemoration. He stated that "Saint Just is just a little the centre of the world today."

Everyone was then invited to go to the reception hall in the centre of the town where the official speeches were planned.

Under the camera of a TV crew from France Ô, Mr. Desmedt reminded the audience the circumstances that led Dr. Caillard to come to settle in St Just in 1941, in this uncertain period of the Occupation. He spoke of his involvement in the clandestine fighting when, in 1943, he came to the aid of many Allied airmen helped on the Plateau Picard, by taking care of them, by taking in or distributing them among trusted people in the area despite all the risks and the omnipresence of the enemy. Shortly before the Liberation, he provided information of the utmost importance to the Franco-Belgian members of the SAS Commando of the “Benson” Operation.

Speech of Mr. Desmedt, the Mayor of Saint Just-en-Chaussee

Speech by Mr. Desmedt

Mr. Desmedt also underlined the great qualities of this doctor who was very appreciated by the population throughout the five years he spent at St. Just. He then handed in the name of the municipality, an exceptional document that belonged to Dr. Caillard, found and possessed by a longtime resident of the town : his permit allowing him to move around the department issued by the Prefecture of Oise.

After his thanks, Jean Paul Caillard, on behalf of his family, offered to the mayor a Melanesian ax. "This object could prove useful for 'slicing' certain decisions in your meetings! " he said.

Saint Just-en-Chaussee - Gift

He didn’t omit paying tribute to his mother, Suzanne, who had actively participated in helping Allied airmen beside her husband, taking the same risks not only by housing but also by conveying them sometimes by train to Paris where the continuation of their escape was organised.

The President of the County Council, Mr. Edouard Courtial, closed this ceremony by recalling his commitment to the essential duty to remembering all those who, like Dr. Edmond Caillard, refused to admit defeat and continued the fight for Freedom.

The exhibition  The exhibition presented by the ASAA

The exhibition presented by our Association during this event


Saint Just-en-Chaussee - The memorial

 

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