1946 – First French Exchange

ArrasDuring 1945, with a strong post-war enthusiasm for re-establishing friendly connections in Europe, recently joined Hugh Wood in collaboration with the ‘Alliance Francaise’ formed a branch of ‘Le Cercle Francais’.

The first visiting French lecturer to Burton Grammar School was Professeur Daniel Mornet and, on his return¬†he forged the link with the ‘Union Fraternelle Franco-Britannique’ situated in Arras who were trying to establish exchanges between English and French school pupils.

Their Honorary Secretary, Monsieur F. Rosset, a retired Police Commissioner was a decicated supporter and was to eventually be awarded an MBE for his efforts. The very first Anglo-French exchanges were start that year, 1946, and were to flourish for almost thirty years.

French Exchange

First French Exchange – Ian Pidoux

This picture was taken in Arras, France after the 14th July parade in 1946 during the very first school exchange with that town. Four of us took part and in those days the four of us travelled alone from Burton to Arras!

From the welcome we got at Calais Maritime as we left the ferry I gathered that we were in fact the first British schoolboys to take part in an exchange after World War II but I may have got this wrong. We were certainly among the first. On the window ledge you can see two out of the four of us, myself second from the left and one other extreme right whose name now escapes me but who I know lived in Stretton Post Office at the time. I took part in three more exchanges“.


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