Georges Thierry d'Argenlieu

Georges Thierry d'Argenlieu Brest 1889 – Relecq-Kerhuon Carmel Monastery 1964
Georges Thierry d'Argenlieu. Source : Musée de l'Ordre de la Libération

Georges Thierry d'Argenlieu graduated from the Naval Academy in 1908 and served first in Morocco and then, during World War I, in the Mediterranean, before joining the Carmelite Order in 1920.


As a reservist he was mobilised in 1939 and assigned to staff headquarters in Cherbourg before being promoted to corvette commander. Taken prisoner on 19 June 1940, he escaped on the 22nd and joined General de Gaulle, who named him chief of defence staff for the Free French Naval Forces. Frigate Captain Thierry d'Argenlieu took part in the rallying operations in Africa in the autumn of 1940. Called back to London in July 1941, he was appointed France’s High Commissioner for the Pacific, where he notably presided over rallying the support of Wallis and Futuna in 1942. After taking part in the Casablanca Conference, he was named commander of the Naval Forces in Great Britain on 19 July 1943. On 14 June 1944, on board the Combattante, he brought General de Gaulle to France and accompanied him all the way to Paris, which they entered on 25 August 1944.


Named Vice Admiral in December 1944, Thierry d'Argenlieu was entrusted with the highest functions from the end of World War II to 1947, including the position of France’s High Commissioner and Commander in Chief for Indochina between August 1945 and March 1947, before returning to the Carmelite Order.


Reverend Father Louis de la Trinité, Admiral Thierry d'Argenlieu, received the honours of the Grand Cross of the Legion of Honour and Companion of the Liberation. He was notably awarded the Médaille Militaire, the War Cross 1939-1945 with three palms, the War Cross for Foreign Operational Theatres with a palm and the Résistance Medal with a rosette.