How a new generation remembers - interview with Lady Lucy French, granddaughter of WWI General Sir John French

You may think the First World War too distant from the lives of today’s children for them to be interested – not so, says Lady Lucy French, great-granddaughter of the Commander-in-Chief of the British Expeditionary Force, Sir John French, who was in the Island recently to launch a school poetry contest. Caroline Moody reports

IN the autumn of 1915 one of the major offensives of the First World War was fought at the Battle of Loos.

The two-month offensive ended in October – and in failure.

And the following month, Sir John French, Commander-in-Chief of the British Expeditionary Force, was forced to step down after a politically and militarily troubled time in charge.


He was replaced by Sir Douglas Haig – himself one of the most controversial of the war generals.

Sir John French was a national hero of the Boer War but his reputation following the First World War was, and remains, somewhat tarnished although some historians agree that he has been treated harshly.… view