FRENCH REFUGEES IN NAAS

by ehistoryadmin on May 4, 2017

Leinster Leader 16 September 1939

Strange Adventures

French Refugees in Naas

The terror which can be inspired by war is vividly exemplified in the strange adventures of two French refugees, who are now residing in Naas.

Miss Adeline Pucelle and Joseph Ammala Saoula, step-sister and step-brother, had a comfortable boarding house business in London, residing at Berbeck Grove, Acton, London, W.S.3., when the war broke out. The terrible calamity would appear to have had a most profound effect upon the couple for they do not remember landing in Eire.

Certain it is, however, that they arrived at Kildare railway station still suffering from loss of memory or other acute depression, and having left the station were terrified at the sight of a number of Army bombing planes roaring overhead. They fled into the country and walking through most of the night, eventually found refuge in a hay barn. The terrors of war, however, still followed them, for the appearance of a column of infantry in full war kit near Rathbride, Newbridge, again inspired them with horror, and they sought refuge in a tree. There they remained until some passers by, noting their plight, informed the Newbridge Gardai, who promptly arrived on the scene with Sergt. Armstrong in charge. After some inducement they came down out of the tree, when it was discovered that they were only scantily clad and greatly suffering from exposure. They were immediately conveyed to the Garda Station in Newbridge where they received medical attention and then brought to the Naas Hospital, where they were very kindly treated.

On their recovery from their shock and loss of memory they consulted a local solicitor, who is at present endeavouring to elicit some information with a view to protecting their property in England, and they are now living in Naas pending the result of these inquiries.

Mr. Saoula can speak French, German and English fluently. Neither Mr. Saoula or Miss Pucelle have any recollection of landing in Eire. When interviewed at a boarding house in Naas on Thursday, Mr. Saoulam, who is dark complexioned and of low stature, aged about 25, said that he wished to make no statement.

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