From Pont-l’Abbé to New York, the extraordinary destiny of Paulette Le Corre

What if you had, without knowing it, drawings and postcards by Paulette Le Corre, abandoned in old cupboards, at the bottom of drawers unexplored for years? This is what Stéphane Pencrec’h suspects, who has carried out an extensive investigation into this woman with an astonishing trajectory. This history buff will present the results of his research on Saturday May 14 to the lay patronage in Pont-l’Abbé (29), during an unprecedented conference

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Who was Paulette Le Corre? The documentation is extremely rare and many questions still hover over this extraordinary destiny. Stéphane Pencrec’h gives us some historical information.

Only child, she quickly becomes an orphan

Paulette Le Corre was born in 1898 in Pont-l’Abbé. She grew up on rue Danton (formerly rue Vallou). “A single child, she very quickly becomes an orphan. Her mother died when she was only a month old, and her father, who was a veterinarian, died in 1912. Paulette Le Corre’s custody was entrusted to her maternal grandmother,” explains the history buff.

At 18, she begins to draw

The Bigoudène capital then went through a period of upheaval. The young Paulette Le Corre will become an attentive observer of Pont-l’Abbiste life. At the age of 18, she started drawing. Her first drawings are dated 1916. She humorously sketches scenes of everyday life. Under his features often appear young women adorned with their headdresses, children too.

a bit provocative

In her sketches, Paulette le Corre depicts humorous scenes of daily life at the beginning of the 20th century in Pont-l’Abbé (29). Here, a newspaper seller on a bicycle

In her sketches, Paulette le Corre depicts humorous scenes of daily life at the beginning of the 20th century in Pont-l’Abbé (29). Here, a newspaper vendor on a bicycle (Stéphane Pencrec’h Collection)

She marries an American soldier in Pont-l’Abbé

1918 marked a turning point. That year, she met her love: Georges Lydon, an American soldier from Paterson, New Jersey. The latter is mobilized at the seaplane base at Ile-Tudy (29). First French in June 1917, it had been conceded to the Yankees a few months later. This center will accommodate no less than 385 American soldiers.

Paulette and Georges married on August 4, 1919 at the Notre-Dame des Carmes church in Pont-l'Abbé.  Then head to the United States.  The couple boards a boat in Boulogne-sur-Mer.  They are accompanied by Catherine Péoc, a servant from Plomeur (29).
On August 4, 1919, at the age of 21, Paule-Marie Le Corre (known as Paulette Le Corre) married the foreman George Lydon in Pont-l’Abbé (29). The latter, a native of Paterson, New Jersey, is 28 years old.

On August 4, 1919, at the age of 21, Paule-Marie Le Corre (known as Paulette Le Corre) married the foreman George Lydon in Pont-l’Abbé (29). The latter, a native of Paterson, New Jersey, is 28 years old (civil status of Pont-l’Abbé)

It features statistical data

In New York, Bigoudène joined the Conference Board, an economic institute created in 1916 and whose goal is to contribute to the progress of business management. This private organization, as a center of expertise, collects data and regularly publishes studies and analyses. Within the Conference Board, Paulette Le Corre becomes responsible for graphic representations, diagrams and curves to stage statistical data. The ancestor of Excel files and data, in short.

She made a good living. You could say she chose her destiny

In 1961, she published a reference work, “The Graphic Primer”, signed by her pseudonym Pôl. “She made a good living. You could say that she chose her destiny,” says Stéphane Pencrec’h. George Lydon died in 1970. He is buried in Long Island Military Cemetery. Paulette Le Corre disappeared in 1983 in New York. She had no children. Where is his grave? We ignore it. Has she returned to Pays Bigouden? Certainly not.

Never-before-seen pieces

“One certainty: she corresponded a lot”, underlines Stéphane Pencrec’h, convinced that there are still traces of these epistolary exchanges. The latter invites people in possession of documents to come forward during the conference. “This moment will be an opportunity to make an inventory,” explains the man who has collected some forty drawings and postcards. During the conference, which promises to be exceptional, he will present completely new pieces.

Conference as part of Museum Night, Saturday May 14, at 5 p.m., at the lay patronage in Pont-l’Abbé (29). Admission: €5 for the benefit of the association Les Amis du Musée bigouden. No reservation

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