Today’s item is a small badge issued in World War II celebrating the alliance between Great Britain and France. It consists of a circular central section with the flag of Great Britain, superimposed over this is the flag of France with the motto ‘Resurgam 1940’:
This badge originally had a pin fastening to the rear, but this has broken off. It is also numbered suggesting the membership of some sort of organisation:
The Imperial War Museum has an example in their collection, but merely describes it as a Free French badge. The French website ‘Musee de la Resistance en Ligne’ also has an example of one of these badges and offers this more detailed context (translated from the French):
English solidarity manifests itself after the retreat from Dunkirk, during which more than 100,000 French soldiers are saved thanks to the British navy. Reception on landing, hospitality and care for soldiers in hospitals remained a vivid memory for those who were the object. Then came the Appeal of June 18, 1940 following which the French nationals of Great Britain decided to regroup around the head of Free France. Several committees were then born, including the Association of the French in Great Britain.
- Rally of the French in Great Britain on the Historic Appeal of June 18, 1940;
- Support from Free and Fighting France;
- Organization of events of national interest;
- Aid given to refugees;
- Granting maintenance grants to young French people, to enable them to continue their studies at the French lycée in London;
Created to bring together the French residing in Great Britain refusing to recognize the Armistice and resolved to join their efforts to contribute to the liberation of France, the association contributed by its daily activity to maintain relations of close confidence with the allies. She participated, alongside the British, in all the tests of aerial bombardments, keeping intact her faith in common victory. It supported the efforts of French companies in the United Kingdom, in particular by helping French civilians in Great Britain, civilian victims of the war and young French people of school age.
June 18, 1941, at the call of the Association of the French of Great Britain, takes place a “demonstration to commemorate the first call of General de Gaulle: France lost a battle, it did not lose the war “. It is held at the Cambridge Theatre under the chairmanship of Admiral Muselier who delivers the inaugural address. The piece of resistance is a speech by Professor René Cassin, permanent secretary of the Defence Committee of the Empire: “La France Libre au combat”. A film is then screened. General de Gaulle’s appeal is read. The ceremony ends with the Marseillaise and the God save the King.
In 1942, two large gatherings of the French in Great Britain took place at the Albert Hall, the largest hall in London, on June 18 and November 11: they were an opportunity for de Gaulle to deliver superb speeches, the Speech of November 11 being all the more important as it takes place three days after the Allied landing in North Africa, from which free France has been excluded.
This British solidarity was also manifested in British colonies and Dominions in a striking way: the committees of Free France in Accra, the Gold Coast, South Africa in Johannesburg, Bathurst in the British Gambia, Sydney and Melbourne, the Lesser Antilles, etc. have constantly ensured the support of free France.