Sir John Leslie: France loses a friend and mourns a hero

It was with great sadness that we learned today that Sir John (Jack) Norman Leslie has passed away peacefully at his family home in County Monaghan. We extend our deepest condolences to his family and friends.

I had the privilege to pay him a private visit last Friday. We chatted for half an hour. In his perfect French, he spoke of the many opportunities he had had to visit our country and the many links he and his family still had with France. In particular, he vividly remembered the heroic role played by his sister, Anita, during World War II, for which she was awarded the French Croix de Guerre (Cross of War). Near his bed, and close to his heart, were the insignia of Chevalier de l’Ordre de la Légion d’Honneur that France officially bestowed on him in November 2015, in recognition of his own role.

With Sir John Leslie, France loses a friend and mourns a hero. Like thousands of other Irishmen and Irishwomen, he voluntarily enlisted and put his life, his future, at risk in the darkest hours of World War II, to fight for freedom and all the core values of our free societies. Their legacy will always inspire us.

Jean-Pierre Thébault
Ambassador of France to Ireland


Published on 06/12/2016

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