U.S. Navy and Beaulieu-sur-Mer Remember WWII Veteran Lawrence Eliot
A moving Memorial Service for local resident Mr. Lawrence Eliot, U.S. Navy and WWII Veteran, was held at St Michael's Church of Beaulieu-sur-Mer on June 6 2021.
The Association Americans and US Navy Sixth Fleet in Villefranche-sur-Mer were sad to announce the passing of Lawrence Eliot, known affectionately as Larry, on 24 April 2021.
The American group, MonacoUSA said that Larry had moved to Beaulieu-sur-Mer several years ago, and had attended the 50th anniversary of the Sixth Fleet's departure in Villefranche in January 2017.
The ceremony, organised by Reverend Father Tony Ingham, took place at St Michael's Anglican Church in Beaulieu-sur-Mer on Sunday, in presence of Colonel Salgado, representing the General Consul of the United States in Marseille, Capt. Max Miller, representing the US Navy Sixth Fleet, Mark D. Primmer, Commander and Kelly Carrigg, past Post Commander of Veterans of Foreign Wars #605, Charles Steiner, Colonel USAF retired, Mrs. Françoise Sanchini, adjointe à la mairie de Beaulieu-sur-Mer, the flag-bearers of the Souvenir Français, and Larry's close friends.
The US Sixth Fleet in Villefranche spoke warmly of Mr Lawrence Eliot as 'one of the last American veterans of the Second World War', saying, 'We will never forget you. R.I.P. Larry.'
A little history
Since the 18th century, Villefranche has been a favourite landing spot for the US Navy and became the main European port for permanent service ships in the Mediterranean. Over the years, hundreds of Americans moved to Villefranche, creating a vibrant community in the small seaside town, nurtured and warmly welcomed in nearby Monaco. Princess Grace and Prince Rainier III often invited officers and admiral to events in the Principality and they were often invited on board the ships.
In 1967, after General de Gaulle withdrew France from NATO, the Americans stationed in Villefranche were sent home. However, many had built a life here, including marrying locals and starting families. Although the 6th fleet was technically no longer stationed in the bay, it remained in the hearts and minds of the community and the fleet itself.
The association 'Americans and Sixth Fleet in Villefranche-sur-Mer' was formed and continue to be active in the community and hold events. To this day, the current 6th Fleet of the US Navy visits Villefranche when 'in the nighbourhood'.