Thursday, 3 February 2011

Letting the French back in

Here is a picture of the British landing from their boats before the battle of Quebec, on September 17th, 1759. The leaders on both sides, Wolfe and Montcalm, were killed. (There was another Battle of Quebec in December 1775, when the British and Canadian garrison drove off an American attack and ended the threat to the British control of Canada.)

But Canadians know all this, of course, and possibly a few Englishmen as well; that is not what this post is about.

In the English county of Kent there is a small town called Westerham (town square shown below). Winston Churchill and I used to live not far from there, though not in the same house or at the same time.

It was the birthplace of General Wolfe, so naturally local pubs, tea-rooms and, for all I know, public conveniences, proudly bear his name.

On the outskirts of the town there is a large house, converted some years ago into a very good restaurant. It was run by a large and fierce francophone Egyptian called Zarb. I like to think that it was not from chauvinism or to thumb his nose at the locals but in a spirit of respect and reconciliation that he called it Le Marquis de Montcalm.

1 comment:

Froog said...

No? Really?

I was amazed to discover they have a statue of Nelson on the banks of the St Lawrence in Montreal.