Marshal Salutes City of Holyoke

by Laurel | December 14th, 2011

This was front page news in The Springfield Republican, Marshal Ferdinand Foch stopped in Springfield briefly prior to making his Holyoke stop. The headline ran “Marshal Foch Holds Springfield In Hollow Of His Hand During Brief But Historic Visit HereGreat Ovation Accorded Chief of Allied Armies.” You may note in the article Foch asks to see Miss Belle Skinner — remember it was she who encouraged Foch to make a stop in Holyoke (link to this article is at the bottom of the page).

14 December 1921

Marshal Ferdinand Foch

Marshal Ferdinand Foch

Thanks People Who Adopted Apremont — Recalls Ancient Frano-American Friendship

Holyoke, Dec. 12 — Marshal Foch from the rear platform of his special train at the Holyoke station, today gave this message to Holyoke: —

“I am very happy to he here this morning. I come here to salute you and thank you for the great offering of men and materials you sent me during the war. Ever since the days of Lafayette and Washington, American and France have stood together, and they will always do so in the future. I thank you in particular for the help you have extended to Apremont and Hatton Chafel.”

The space about the station platform was packed with people, including thousands of children who had been released from school to watch for the great French general. The train stopped just about 10, as scheduled, for three minutes. Tremendous applause greeted the veteran as he stepped to the read platform of the train. Mayor John F. Cronin, accompanied by Rev. P. H. Gauthier, who also acted as interpreter, mounted the platform and the welcome and freedom of the city was extended by the general who replied as above.

Autographs Pictures

Marshal Foch was presented with several handsome floral offerings, one from the children of the French parochial schools. During his short visit, Marshal Foch autographed two pictures, one for the American Legion and the other for the high school. Louis Corre represented the French war veterans. Holyoke post, American legion, was represented by Commander Stanley C. Cox and Adjutant Giles Haggerty. Samuel Bechard was flag bearer.

Lieut. Edward J. Stapleton represented the World War veterans, and the Military Order of Foreign ware was represented by Maj. William J. Crosier, Maj. William P. Ryan, Maj. Alexander McDonald, Maj. E. J. Slate, Maj. John Forster, Maj. George D. Henderson and Capt. G. L. Gabler. Just before the train left, Marshal asked for Miss Belle Skinner, but he was informed that she was in New york and about to sail for France. Marshal Foch, on being informed, as his train approached the city, that Holyoke was the city that had adopted the village of Apremont, was much interested and responded with alacrity to the request that he go to the rear platform and say a few words.

Crowd Well Handled

Care was taken to properly handle the crowd. The vicinity of the station was roped off under direction of Chief Patrick Hutley of the fire department. A squad of police also kept the crowd in bounds.

Miss Marie Driscoll, vice-president of the French Club at the High School presented the marshal with a bouquet and a bouquet was also given by Holyoke post, American Legion.

Appreciating the desire of the employees in the plants grouped hear the Riverside Station to see him, Marshal Foch, on the trip through Holyoke this morning, consented to greet the crowds which assembled at about 10 near that station.

In honor of the occasion the managements of such concerns as White & Wyckoff Manufacturing Company, National Blank Book Company, Cowan Truck Company and other concerns in the vicinity of Riverside temporarily closed their plants during the time that the marshal was expected to appear, with the result that when his train came down from the north, several thousands of the employees of the concerns were on hand, many of them with the tricolor of France.

Holyoke people down at Riverside, through the courtesy of their employers, thus had a chance to see the famous marshal.

From The Springfield Republican, image is in the public domain.

Associated link: Ferdinand Foch May be Guest of Holyoke

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