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Number of items: 3.

3 Files

Tirailleurs Sénégalais and the First Word War: memory and commemoration

This resource includes a reproduction of a 1923 monument commemmorating the Tirailleurs Sénégalais who fought for France during the First World War. The original of this monument was erected in Reims and destroyed by the Germans in 1940. An exact copy used to be displayed in Bamako (Mali) but is not currently on public display. This small-scale reproduction may be viewed at the Musée des Forces Armées in Dakar (Senegal) This resource also includes the reproduction of a certificate awarded to a Tirailleurs Sénégalais batallion, in recognition of its bravery in battle during the First World War. The website: www.tirailleursenegalais.com, is very interesting in the way that it rehabilitates the tirailleurs into a national narrative ('batisseurs du monde libre') but of course completely glosses over the fact that many tirailleurs also fought for France in its two wars of decolonisation in Indochina and Algeria.

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3 Files

Remembering the Colonial Past in France and Africa

Once France’s sub-Saharan African colonies became independent in 1960, African troops who had served France loyally both in the world wars and in its wars of decolonization did not fit easily into the official, nationalist narrative of postcolonial African leaders of an African nation united in the struggle against French colonialism. As a result their role and experiences were largely ‘forgotten’ for some forty years after independence. A powerful symbol of this official forgetting is that, as recently as 1999, in France’s oldest African colony Senegal, a French colonial monument originally cast in 1923 to commemorate the role played by African soldiers fighting for France in World War I, was removed to a small cemetery on the outskirts of Dakar because its presence in the centre of the city was considered too redolent of the country’s colonial past. Yet five years later the monument made a great comeback to the city centre after the announcement by the President Wade, in the presence of a plethora of African heads of state of former French colonies, of the creation of a national day to commemorate the tirailleurs. At the same time he also announced that the Senegalese government would henceforth pay an allowance to all Senegalese war veterans still alive on 2 March 2000, in addition to the increase in African war veterans’ pensions recently announced by France. Following this the monument was restored to the centre of the city to become the focal point of a vast commemoration project in which the Place de la Gare was renamed the Place du Tirailleur and designated as a memorial to African soldiers who perished in both world wars.

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Collection

France in Sub-Sahara Africa

This collection contains original documents, academic texts and bibliographical references related to France and in its former Sub-Sahara African colonies.

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This list was generated on Mon Sep 23 18:22:09 2019 BST.