Mon Général

One of the joys of writing is doing the research. De Gaulle – what a fantastic character! You could not invent him. I’m not a Gaullist, but the man’s courage, determination, unswerving faith in the ‘grandeur’ of France – even at its lowest ebb after Nazi occupation – and sheer leadership abilities were extraordinary.
He was indestructible. He survived various close shaves in two World Wars, and, at the liberation of Paris, marched through the city and into Notre Dame unperturbed by a ‘hail of bullets’. He was unharmed by around 30 serious assassination attempts, which is apparently some sort of world record – the Day of the Jackal just scratches the surface!
In retirement, he declined the generous pension to which he was entitled both as ex President and as a retired General, and would only accept the much smaller pension of a Colonel. His like shall not be seen again…

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