House of Hauteclocque

The House of Hauteclocque is a French noble family established during the Middle Ages by the lords of the fief of Hautecloque. Its most illustrious member is Philippe Leclerc de Hauteclocque (1902–1947), leader of the Free French Forces during the Second World War and Marshal of France. Haulte clocque in middle French means "High Bell", this explains the familial motto: "On entend loing sonner haulte clocque" (One can hear the high bell ring from far away).


Members of the House of Hauteclocque 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 survived 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 Philippe Leclerc's father; who also served in World War I, but survived the conflict and inherited the family estate in Belloy-Saint-Léonard.[1]

Coat of arms and motto

Coat of Arms Motto
On entend loing sonner haulte clocque[2]
(One can hear the high bell ringing from far away)


  1. Clayton, Anthony (1992). Three Marshals of France. Brassey's. ISBN 0-08-040707-2;
  2. L'Avenir
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