Lieutenant Maurice Louis Marie Aristide LARCHER

Photos - Larcher family collection via Alain Antelme.

Maurice Larcher was born 23 January 1922 in Rose Hill, Mauritius.  The island then being a British colony, Larcher had British nationality, as did his parents Louis and Marie Larcher née Samouilhan, though they came from French stock dating back to when Mauritius, as Ile Maurice, had been a French possession.  He had one older brother, (George Louis) Jean, and three sisters, Maryse, Françoise and Nicole, and received a good secondary education at the renowned Royal College in Curepipe, Mauritius.  Although this was accepted as the best English-based education on the island, Larcher’s command of the language was described as heavily-accented and unclear. The Franco-Mauritians of SOE nevertheless had the great advantage of speaking French with little or no accent and they were familiar with metropolitan France’s culture and habits – even if they had never been there.  These advantages were in contrast to the difficulties faced by some of the French Canadians in SOE’s employ who spoke with a distinctive north American accent to their French and had to learn a great deal about French habits. Several of them, for instance, had never experienced wine, a state of affairs guaranteed to produce at least surprise, if not alarm, in France.

Up until the outbreak of war, Maurice Larcher had been a student in Mauritius.  After the fall of France, both Maurice and his brother Jean felt it natural to want to help France as actively as possible, with the added incentive of being British subjects, despite Mauritius being very much on the periphery of the developing conflict..... [Remainder of case study is complete - contact author for further details].

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