French family remembers their field marshal
Wednesday, 16th January 2013
At Westminster Abbey on Tuesday 15th January 2013, The Duc and Duchesse de La Rochefoucauld-Doudeauville, attended the dedication of a ledger stone, marking the grave of their kinsman, Field Marshal Francois de La Rochefoucauld, Marquis de Montendre.
His Excellency M. Bernard Emié, the French Ambassador, Field Marshal Sir John Chapple GCB CBE and the Deputy Mayor of Montendre also attended the ceremony. Other guests included members of the extended family and representatives of the British and French military.
De La Rochefoucauld, who was born in 1672, served in the British Army during the reign of William and Mary. After fleeing France as a Huguenot refugee in the face of religious persecution and after succeeding his brother as Marquis de Montendre, he had gone on to a distinguished career in the British Army, serving in Ireland, the Low Countries and Spain. He was promoted to field marshal in 1739 but died later that year. He was buried in the Abbey soon after his death.
The Duc de La Rochefoucauld-Doudeauville, one of the field marshal’s collateral descendants, recently discovered that his kinsman had been buried in the Abbey’s North Ambulatory but that his grave had been unmarked and approached the Dean of Westminster with the offer to commission a new stone. The Duc designed the inscription on the new stone which was sourced and inscribed in Montendre in south-western France and shipped to Westminster.
The Dean of Westminster, the Very Reverend Dr John Hall, presided over the short ceremony at the grave. The floor stone replaced by the new stone from Montendre will be sent by the Abbey authorities to France for inscription and installation in Montendre.