you are currently viewing: Discussion Forum


The Rorke's Drift VC Discussion Forum
(View Discussion Rules)


PLEASE NOTE: This forum is now inactive and is provided for reference purposes only. The live forum is available at

(Back To Topic List)

DateOriginal Topic
6th July 2005We did it again
By Robert Jone
The British have done it again----they not only beat the French at Agincourt, Waterloo and Trafalgar and pulled them out of the cesspit they were in in 1945, now they have gone and won the battle of Singapore !!
President Chirac must feel like a punchdrunk parrot and it serves him right after the stupid comments about England !
7th July 2005Guy Manly
And don't forget Crecy, Poitiers, the Seven Years War, plus others too numerous to mention.
7th July 2005Julian whybra
Yes,,,but at the siege of Peking we fought shoulder to shoulder. The leaders are not the people. Chirac is undoubtedly as slick a politician as Blair but he is not the French people.
7th July 2005Sean Sweeney
This week sees the 20th Anniversary of the Rainbow Warrior bombing by French Security forces here in Auckland,
and the subsequent threats made by the French Government to New Zealand.
Enough said !
8th July 2005Alan Critchley
We are pleased with the decision but I have put a photo in the news section which shows that not everyone else is.
9th July 2005Paul Cubbin
Great picture Alan, somehow I can't feel any sorrow for those who display such typically Gallic arrogance (of course, if it was British, I'd call it pride). It smacks of Joseph Napoleon before Vitoria - pity he lost his potty just when he probably needed it most!
10th July 2005Catherine
I am French and, being much interested in British Empire's history was browsing on this site to learn more about the gallant defense of Rorke' Drift... Anf I am deeply upset to discover how hateful some people can be.. Is that British fair play ?
11th July 2005Peter Ewart

You are undoubtedly quite right and the comments are utterly juvenile. Comparing warfare of up to 700 years ago with the recent decision as to which city should host a modern international sports tournament is puerile. The two cities both produced high quality bids but only one could be chosen. The remarks above convey the very opposite idea of how we would prefer to be seen by the rest of the world and do, unfortunately, convey instead the image of the notorious, ignorant British football hooligan on one of his destructive overseas jaunts, than "British fair play."

It certainly isn't fair play & does no credit at all to those who purport to have the slightest knowledge at all of the character of this country's people, which - I would hope - still embraces fairness and tolerance above all. Hopefully, you will not take the postings as remotely representative of the British generally, nor of the many more open-minded contributors to this discussion forum, which you'll enjoy if you have not been discouraged from persevering further after coming across the inanities above.

I am sure they would defend these comments as no more than a bit of light-hearted banter, reflecting the traditional or historic rivalries between Britain & France, and that no offence was intended, although the remarks are a little too reminiscent of some of the xenophobic tripe which infests our cheaper press these days, perhaps stoked up a little by the recent cross-channel diplomatic & political difficulties.

It is also true that a few reported remarks about GB by the French Head of State last week received wide coverage in this country and were, not surprisingly, not well received. However, as Julian has pointed out above, to judge the French by the remarks of a single politician would be as ridiculous as an overseas observer judging the British according to the pronouncements of our own political leaders.

I'm sure no harm was meant and only a bit of fun intended. After all, one can poke fun at one's friends & neighbours and (it might be remembered) GB and France have fought together - not against each other - through several hard wars in the last 150 years.

It is probably true, though, that relations are at a very low ebb, in my opinion caused by the tightening of the strait-jacket of the EU over the last 30 years. With any luck, we shall eventually see a stop, or even a reversal, to the nonsense our people have been subjected to by unelected idiots in Brussels or Strasbourg.

11th July 2005Steven Sass

I think Peter has it spot on when he commented that "no harm was meant and only a bit of fun intended." As an American of British heritage I used to wonder and be quite bothered by the great amount of what I took to be criticism, our group across the pond took. However soon enough I had it explained that it was kind of like siblings naturally picking on each other, without real harm meant. It was further explained that when the "chips (not fries) were down" it was these same friends that would stand together( the twentieth century is rife with examples). I think I may have enriched some understanding a bit as I noted that one politician or group of people does not usually represent the views of an entire country. Yes sometimes it's irritating, but the gentlemen and ladies that participate on this site are good natured enough to take a little chiding themselves. I am guilty of a few "shots" at the French but truth be told I admire many aspects of the country and culture. So I would chalk it up to a misunderstanding based on your first visit and encourage your future participation in the site, both to enrich the forum and to see what I mean regarding some of the banter. Yes some of the humor requires a bit of a thick skin, but the information that can be gotten here is world class. The occasional nonsence is actually sometimes necessary to help break up the occasional stuffiness.

All the best,

11th July 2005Andy Lee

But what did you expect from a country that produces such bad cuisine!!!!

I suspect such comments are underpinned by such issues as bottling out of the Iraq war, lack of appreciation for us bailing you out in WWII, European rebates and your cheating Betson's trip in last Six Nations Rugby. However, deep down we love you really.

12th July 2005Sean Sweeney
Well, what can I say !
What started off as a bit of light hearted banter (and revenge for the rugby), appears to have turned into a major incident.
aka the first Anglo-Boer War, started off by one of my relations, and his men, giving a bit of lip to the British Garrison in Potchefstroom, and taking a bullet for his pains. (Caliber and model unknown !)
And, as they say 'It was All On !'
We've all had to learn to forgive and forget at times.

Catherine has obviously taken offence, when I'm sure none was intended,
and Peter is calling us all 'Football Hooligans'.
(Lighten up a little !)

All I can say is, Catherine, take a trip to The Aisne, and see the rows of British War dead, including the 1st Bn South Wales Borderers of 3rd Bgde 1st Div, I Corps, BEF
and 7166 Richard Sweeney of 1st Bn QO Cameron Highlanders, 1st Bgde, 1st Div, I Corps of the BEF, k.i.a. 25th September, 1914,
in defence of French soil.
And what a cheek of President 'What's-his-name' to accuse us of 'Bad Cuisine' !

(Has anyone tried Haggis ?)

(And I thought it was the Germans who were devoid of humour ?)
12th July 2005Robert Jones
My original comments were not meant as a slight to the French people---it was my frustrated way of getting back at President Chirac for the derogatory remarks he made about the British.
I am sure that if Tony Blair had made similar remarks about the French thousands of French people would be, quite naturally, furious.
If you feel offended by the remarks I made I apologise but I can assure you no offence was meant.
19th July 2005James Garland
Not only were the comments juvenile some of them were just plain wrong.
1. Re. " pulling them out of the cesspit they were in in1945" Did you know that we would have lost in 1940 and been in no position to help in 1945 if the French hadn't defended our flank at Dunkirk and enabled us to escape? There would have been no British Army left and we would have been overun by the Germans. The French knew the battle for France was lost but carried on fighting to enable our escape. They could have just walked away but they didn't. Therefore the liberation of France was repayment for a debt to the French which they earned.
2. "Bottled out of Iraq". They didn't "bottle out" They didn't agree with the war in the first place. It would have been far more disgraceful if they'd fought a war they didn't agree with.
19th July 2005Robert Jones
Nobody is denying the fact that the French defended the flank at Dunkirk and then were left to their own devices but it is still a simple fact that they were in a hell of a mess in 1945 and it cost the lives of thousands of allied troops to get them out of it and don,t forget the hundreds of small boats that crossed the Channel and picked up thousands of soldiers who would otherwise have been lost.
19th July 2005Mike McCabe
The French, and ourselves, are neighbours in what must strategically be one of the most consistently dangerous parts of Europe.
Ever since the upstart Norman kingdom - which gave us more than 200 years of French kings - was set up in the 11th century we became rivals, spectacularly so during the Napoleonic period.
However, we have also been firm allies and friends in some desperate and extremely arduous circumstances - and are readily able to be so whenever we perceive shared interests.
Much British blood and treasure has been expended for the sake of France - but - as part of a strategy from we we expected at least our own survival, and hopefully some other longer term benefits. However, France has also suffered immensely, and also for the sake of alliances with us. The French are a fine people with many excellent qualities and enormous spiritual reserves. At least for the occasions on which that has all benefitted us, we might perhaps be a bit more grateful.
20th July 2005Simon Copley
Well said James Garland.
28th July 2005Rich

I thought you hit the nail on the head as to why GB/French relations have been at low ebb recently when you pointed to Brussels.
I'd just like to suggest that not only is it Brussels but the United States that figures in the equation. Britain and France lie in Europe but sometimes what lies afar on the horizon concentrates more intently and I think the US elephant is always in the Brit and French parlors. Of course, we're all like "friendly enemies" at times but at rock bottom I believe there is mutual understanding that cannot be denied. We should be glad, in a way, that all three of us practice some collective historical amnesia. If we didn't, we'd probably be continually trying to go after each others throat with no quarter given.
28th July 2005Michael Boyle
Couldn't agree more Rich, if not for the French in the 1770s we here in the States would still be speaking English.
29th July 2005Rich
Speaking of the frenchies, you might be interested in checking the recently released book "Year of the Hangman" about early America's fight with our "compadres" across the pond. Man, those Brits were tough on us with their Indian allies rampaging through hill and dale slaughtering settlers left and right up and down the verdant Pennsylvania valleys!
A bad time, a bad time..but we're friends now!
29th July 2005Michael Boyle
Rich, I have found the period quite interesting, from 'Indian' wars to 'French and Indian War' to 'British and Indian' war to 'Whiskey Rebellion' ('Indians' sat this one out) to 'Quasi French War' then off to fight the Barbary Pirates while Napoleon first planned an invasion from Louisiana only to end up selling it to us, then back to fighting the British, back to fighting the 'Indians' and then just to shake things up a bit, taking on the Mexicans. The hundred years between the 1750s and 1850s certainly was a strange time for enemies and alliances for the protaganists who only seem to have gotten all together first against the Boxers and then against the Germans followed by the Communists, in the 20th century. Strange brew indeed and as you say, occaisional differences aside, we are yet friends (though I don't presume to speak for Native Americans).

An interesting aside is one of the little credited reasons for the Revolution being that Britain forbade colonial settlement west of the Allegheny Mountains much as they later proscribed colonial settlement in Zululand. Although Britain was undeniably interested in 'empire' building they seemed much less interested in 'country' building and thus seemed to treat indiginous populations much better than their colonial offshoots.
29th July 2005Rich
You know the "hundred years" you alluded to surely gave us a few ironies where the rise of liberty coincided with the subjugation of certain groups and that Britain's behavior in 1879, just like a century earlier in the Americas, made a previous friend into an enemy. A quest for submission brings about bad stuff.