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Carmen Pomiés (ePub)

Football Legend and Heroine of the French Resistance

Hobbies & Lifestyle > Sport P&S History WWII Women of History

By Chris Rowe
Imprint: Pen & Sword History
File Size: 26.8 MB (.epub)
Pages: 240
ISBN: 9781399091718
Published: 6th May 2022


£6.99 Print price £25.00

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Carmen Pomiès (1900-1982) is a significant figure in the history of women’s football in the interwar years. Carmen was in the first generation of women’s sport in France, first in athletics, winning medals throwing the javelin in international competitions, and playing football for Fémina Sports and France from 1920. Her life in sport is intertwined with key personalities such as Alice Milliat and Violette Morris.

Carmen also played a huge part in the story of women’s football in England: she played many times for and against the famous Dick, Kerr Ladies of Preston, including their 1922 football tour of the United States. Carmen became almost an honorary Englishwoman, making lifelong friends of important footballers such as Florrie Redford, Lily Parr and Lizzy Ashcroft. During these years, Carmen was not only a player but also an important influence in promoting the game and fighting for equality. Carmen also had fascinating siblings: her brother Georges was a film star and famous modern dancer who died tragically young, her older sister Hélène was a left-wing author and translator.

From 1940 Carmen was secretary to a famous film star, Renée Saint-Cyr, and was active in the French Resistance. In 1946, she settled in Rochester NY before moving to New York to work for the United Nations. From 1956, her life is shrouded in mystery because of gaps in the evidence. She died in France in 1982. So her life is about much more than just football!

I can thoroughly recommend the above book: Carmen Pomiès - Football Legend and Heroine of the French Resistance ... In fact, I would go as far as to say that it is necessary reading to understand the history of women’s football. To use footballing terminology, myself and historian Helge Faller have major ‘assists’ in this wonderful book. At the start of Chapter 6, I am quoted: “Carmen Pomiès was the glue holding together women’s football in Europe in the interwar years.”

Steve Bolton for Playing Pasts

Carmen Pomies was a figure I must admit to never hearing of previous to reading this interesting book. A woman of real character and who was you argue a forerunner for women in being able to achieve and doing what they wanted. I have to say at this point that the number of and standard of sporting books particularly football both women and men is very high and incredibly interesting, as a football, I fan I am loving all about these new sporting characters I have little or no knowledge of. They really show there was a time when sporting people were leaders and strived to achieve goals for others to follow.

It turns out that Carmen Pomies, a young woman from France was it seems a very good, high achieving athlete of note taking part in field events notably the javelin and athletics, and then, later on, she moved on to football playing regularly for Femina Sports and internationally as she was particularly well known in England too. We learn that during the outbreak of the Second World War she was having to live under German occupation but she then got involved with the French Resistance to support the French cause. What a fascinating woman and a very well written book, it’s a book that leaves you wanting to meet her and ask her lots of questions yourself.

Read the full review here

The History Fella

As featured in: 'This month's literary delights'

Lancashire and North West Magazine

'I'm literally blown away.... I'm pretty sure it will be one of the landmarks in the research of early women's football history.'

Helge Faller, Europe’s premier historian of women’s football

'From Paris to Preston: how 1920s French football superstar Carmen Pomiès kickstarted the women's game with Dick, Kerr Ladies' - full article here

Lancashire Evening Post

As featured in

The Bookseller

About Chris Rowe

Chris Rowe was born in Liverpool. He studied at Liverpool University, followed by postgraduate studies in London, Vienna and Providence, Rhode Island. He was a lecturer at the University of Victoria, Canada, specialising in the Age of Discovery before returning to England as Head of History at Winstanley College for 30 years. He was a Chief Examiner, setting A level History examinations, and author of textbooks, mostly on 20th century Europe. From 2003, he worked with the Council of Europe and Euroclio, training history teachers east of the former Iron Curtain. He joined Historiana as assistant editor in 2010 and from 2016 has authored materials for Football Makes History. This is his first book for Pen and Sword.

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