Captain James Francis George MENZIES

 (born and raised as Jean François Georges MENNESSON)

Photos - Anna Menzies.

Menzies was born on 27 April 1916 as Jean François Georges Mennesson, the son of Paul and Marie Louise (née Dupont) Mennesson.

Paul Mennesson was a gentleman farmer in the Aisne region and had started his family on the Ferme d’Huez at Faucoucourt, a hamlet close to the village of Anizy-le-Château (02), 60 kilometres north-west of Reims. During the First World War, however, the farm had been in the front-line area and, while Paul Mennesson was serving in the French Army, his growing family of his wife and four children moved to Abbeville (80) where Paul’s brother Jean (later Mayor of Abbeville 1942-44), and Marie Louise’s sister, Geneviève, both lived. The family were there for the birth of the couple’s fifth child, Jean, and from 1917 they moved to the Ferme Val aux L’épreux between the villages of Grand-Laviers and Buigny-Saint-Maclou, five kilometres north-west of Abbeville and also to the Blanche-Abbaye farm just outside Buigny-Saint-Maclou.

It was not until 1921 that the Mennesson family (ultimately including nine children) moved back to Faucoucourt, only to find that their farm house had been destroyed during the conflict. Undeterred, Paul Mennesson built another, white stone, house on the same site.

From the heart of rural northern France, Mennesson (and three of his brothers) were sent to attend the Collège de Saint-Croix de Neuilly, a prestigious boarding school in Paris. While there, from 1928 to 1934, Mennesson became a dedicated scout and also set his heart on joining the French Army.......[Remainder of case study is complete - contact author for further details].

Copyright  © Paul McCue 2014