About this Famous Person
Philippe LECLERC de HAUTECLOCQUE
French general during World War II
Source : Ferdinand CORTYL , Myriam PROVENCE
Philippe de Hauteclocque was born at Belloy-Saint-Léonard in the department of Somme. He was the fifth of six children of Adrien de Hauteclocque, comte de Hauteclocque (1864-1945) and Marie-Thérèse van der Cruisse de Waziers (1870-1956). Philippe was named in honour of an ancestor killed by Croats in 1635.
Leclerc came from an old line of country nobility; his direct ancestors had served in the Fifth Crusade against Egypt, and again in the Eighth Crusade of Saint Louis against Tunisia in 1270. They had also fought at the Battle of Saint-Omer in 1340 and the Battle of Fontenoy in 1745. The family managed to survive the French Revolution. Three members of the family served in Napoleon's Grande Armée and a fourth, who suffered from weak health, in the supply train. The youngest of these had a son, who became a noted egyptologist; he, in turn, had three sons. The first and third became officers in the French Army; serving during the colonial campaigns before both were killed during World War I. The second son was Leclerc’s father; he also served in World War I, but survived the conflict and inherited the family estate in Belloy-Saint-Léonard.