8th May 2016

8th May. A special date in France, the signatures at Reims declaring the end of hostilities in Europe, 1945. Today in Gaillac a posthumous medal 'citoyen d'honneur' will be awarded to the family of a very brave lady, Renee Taillefer.  Born nearby in 1927, Renee joined the Resistance at 15, distributing secret information to letter boxes, sabotaging German trains and not hesitating to transport explosives, hidden under a kilo of plums in a bag dangling from her bicycle! She is also remembered here for her part in attacking Gaillac prison where 44 prisoners were held before being sent to Germany.  She was quite rightly awarded the Croix de Guerre at the age of 17  plus the Chevalier de la legion d'honneur in 1957. This year a ceremony was held at Gaillac's salles des spectacles, and to symbolise her homage there's a giant portrait of her on the balcony of Gaillac's hotel de ville. As the Gaillacoises gather today in the Place de la Republique, we all ask ourselves: would we have been as brave as young Renee?

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