Le Touquet Paris-Plage  -  History.

 

Le Touquet Old Sign Post


Heri solitude…hodie Civitas (Yesterday solitude…today civilization) This sentence of Edouard Leveque is a perfect summary of the history of our city. Yesterday a desolated moor with nothing but wild rabbits and hares, Le Touquet is today one of the most welcoming resorts of Europe.
The story started in 1819, 1600 hectares of a wild and arid land are put for sale by the state. Estimated at the price of 120.100 F (6500 napoleons) it was bought on April 25 1837 by Jean Baptist Alphonse Daloz and Alyon. To make it profitable, they tried to establish a distillery and a potatoes starchy industry vainly. Fortunately, after many trials,  Alphonse Daloz will succeed in planting a forest of pine-trees (1855) assisted by employees of Cucq and Trépied.
 
 

Two lighthouses were inaugurated in 1852 and gave six families of lighthouse keepers the possibility to live in Le Touquet. So the foundations of the future Touquet Paris-Plage were laid: Fiat Lux, Fiat Urbs. Le Touquet means “the turning” in Picardy’s dialect. 
In 1874, Hippolyte de Villemessant, owner and manager of the newspaper “Le Figaro” but also a hunter when he likes, is very enthusiastic for the place. He creates the name of Paris-Plage and the idea of a sea-side resort occurs to him. In 1882, some houses are built – La Vigie and l’Avant-Garde -. Le Touquet is coming out of the shadows.

 

Le Touquet Lighthouses
Le Touquet Central park

In spite of its 173 constructions built in 1894, Le Touquet deserves the name of town only in summertime, for there are no more than 300 inhabitants left every autumn. The resort takes its flight under the impulse of John Whitley and Allen Stoneham. Both desire to make of Le Touquet a luxurious resort based on sports.


With Pierre de Coubertin as manager (also the founder of the modern Olympics), Le Touquet is growing and quickly has a casino and golf. A hippodrome and tennis courts are also set up. In 1912, on March 28th, the city becomes an independent town with as name Le Touquet Paris-Plage. But the shadow sweeps down once more.... ( PAS-DE-CALAIS -  Here there are 628 Commission cemeteries containing over 180,000 First World War burials and approximately 4,500 from the Second World War. There are also 7 Memorials to the Missing commemorating over 96,000 Commonwealth servicemen who have no known graves) These are located at LE TOUQUET.........
THE COMMONWEALTH WAR GRAVES COMMISSION -  AREA FRANCE    
   

Coubertin Le Touquet

 

 

Cemetery:

LE TOUQUET-PARIS PLAGE COMMUNAL CEMETERY

Country:

France

Locality:

Pas de Calais

Location Information:

From Etaples take the D39 to Le Touquet. Turn right following the signs for the Hippodrome and airport. 400 metres after the junction on the D39 take the right fork onto the Avenue du Gulf, after 600 metres turn left onto Avenue de Picardie. Continue for another 1.3 kilometres crossing 2 mini roundabouts and turn right onto Avenue du 18 Juin. The Communal Cemetery is 200 metres further along on the right hand side. The Commonwealth plot is near the entrance.
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Historical Information:

The Duchess of Westminister's Hospital (No.1 B.R.C.S) was at Le Touquet from October, 1914, to July, 1918, and the British graves in the Communal Cemetery were made from that hospital. The Communal Cemetery contains a number of French and Italian military graves, and two British Plots in the corner. A wooden obelisk in memory of the British dead was erected in the cemetery by the Lifeboat men of the commune. There are now nearly 150, 1914-18 war casualties commemorated in this site. All of whom died in the period November, 1914, to April, 1916. The British Plots cover an area of 495 square metres.

No. of Identified Casualties:

142

 

First World War.

Hermitage Le Touquet


The 1st World War is tolling the end of a period where feasts were following one another. After the war,  light is coming back and Le Touquet becomes one of the smartest resorts in the world with luxurious customers as the English high society. Its casinos, hotels and other works give to Paris-Plage its real fashionable reputation. Wealthy and powerful customers as oriental and East Indies princes are used to come…

Le Touquet Westminster Hotel
 

In 1927, the casino became the first one of France. This allowed the building of the Town Hall with one years winnings. Wonderful hotels, villas, a polo, a race course, a golf course and many other works gave to the resort an image of luxuriousness. 

Le Touquet Westminster Hotel

 

Second World War

 

Le Touquet Ruins

 

1937 and the 2nd World War is putting out lights. Occupied, the town is suffering under the German Army: bombing, mines (130.000). 


Dr. Pouget, mayor of the town will do his best to obtain the revival of the resort. In the fifties, the resort will fit with its time and become “The pre-eminently rendezvous in....…"
During his stand in, Doctor Ferrier had a rough plan for a small harbour facing the Canche. Under the impulse of his first municipal magistrate,  Léonce Deprez,  actual Mayor,  Le Touquet earns it's reputation as the “Four Seasons Resort”…

 

 

Jardin-Ypres

Le Touquet Today

 

Le Touquet Rue St Jean

Today Le Touquet Paris Plage is the leading resort of the Côte d’Opale
and has accentuated definitively its efforts towards Europe. Tradition and modernity, everything is done to make the most of the “Manche Garden”  as an all year round resort