Poirier, Jacques Rene Edouard (Oral history)

Catalogue number
  • 10446
Production date
Subject period
  • whole: Duration 120, Number Of Items 4
Alternative names
  • object name: Oral history
  • object category: IWM interview


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Object description

French civilian member of French Resistance in France, 1940-1942; escaped from France to Spain, 11/1942; imprisoned in Spain, 11/1942-5/1943; officer served with F Section, Special Operations Executive in France, 1943-1944

Content description

REEL 1 Background in France, 1922-1939: family; education. Aspects of period as member of French Resistance in France, 1940-1942: first contact with French Resistance, 1940; abortive attempt to get to Gibraltar; opinion of Vichy regime; joining resistance and subsequent work; story of meeting with injured Harry Peuleve. Recollections of his escape from France and imprisonment in Spain, 11/1942-5/1943: advice received from priest in Marseilles regarding escaping to London; story of how Harry Peuleve secured money to escape over Pyrenees; crossing Pyrenees, 11/1942; abandoning of escape by guide in Pyrenees; fording guide to continue across Pyrenees; arrest by Guardia Civil in Spain. REEL 2 Continues: reasons for assuming identity of French Canadian soldier; background to arrest and imprisonment in Figueras; treatment in Figueras Prison; help from Spanish Communist in smuggling letter to British diplomats, early 1943; transfer to camp in Zaragoza; undertaking not to attempt to escape; Harry Peuleve’s escape to Madrid; his own release; chance meeting with cousin in Madrid; arrival in Gibraltar; arrest on arrival in GB. Recollections of operations as officer with F Section, Special Operations Executive in France, 1943-1944: return to France with Harry Peuleve after training with Special Operations Executive; parachute drop in wrong area of France. REEL 3 Continues: story of arrest of Harry Peuleve and Resistance group, 21/3/1944; reorganising of his circuit; memories of Andre Malraux including period in hiding with him in Paris; problems organising and receiving mass daylight parachute supply drop, 14/7/1944; question of French resistance and collaboration; changes in attitude amongst French population after 1942; risks taken by those involved in resistance; his switch from radio work to an organisational role; degree of security in French Resistance; his personal security; meeting with father also a member of French Resistance. REEL 4 Continues: relations between Resistance groups of different political views; liberation of Brive-la-Gaillarde, 1944; arrest of civilian responsible for deaths of resisters; general treatment of collaborators on liberation; estimation of personal contribution to Special Operations Executive; contrast between operations in Dordogne and Correze; relations between Gaullists and ex-Special Operations Executive members after Second World War.

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