Luc Francey

Luc Francey


Luc Francey was born in Grandson, in the canton of Vaud in Switzerland, on  May 27, 1925. He attended the College d’Yverdon, Gymnase of Lausanne and graduated  from ETH (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich). After working in Paillard’s laboratory as a research physicist for it’s radios. In early 1960’s he makes a sharp turn, is more engaged in social causes and decides to continue his carrer in education. For thirty years he will teach Physics and Natural Sciences in the Canton of Neuchâtel.


From the early 60’s, Luc Francey is committed to see that Switzerland looks at alternatives for obligatory military service and develops a Civil Service option for young military recruits. Their claim states that a neutral country does not need such a heavy investment in war but in peace. (1, 4, 5) This achievement will cost many young people, including himself,  spending time behind bar in order to be heard by the Federal Government. Despite their punishment, each participants in this request committed their annual obligatory service (two weeks) to  projects organized by the International Civil Services and SCI in needy mountain regions of Switzerland where they built roads, bridges or any services deemed necessary. The idea takes on like fire, but it will still take many years for the law to change.

On May 17, 1992, a month after he dies, a vote receives 82.5% votes to approve a change in the Swiss Constitution. It takes another four years to have the new law integrated. Today, young recruit have a choice. The Swiss army is faced with a “hemorrhage” of will be soldiers joining this new movement.

In 1970, he joins the committee of L’Essor, a monthly magazine published since 1905 that is committed to humanity and pacifism. (Archives). He will write and assure the Information column from 1973 with Robert Junod. From 1973 to 1985 he takes on the position of  Editor of L’Essor.

He is also involved with the anti-nuclear efforts that will spread world wide in the early 60’s and Yearly Easter Marches. (2) He is part of the “Friends of Danilo Dolci”. Dolci is an Italian social activist, sociologist and popular educator who is known for his opposition to poverty, social exclusion and the Mafia of Sicily and will be tried for libel by the Italian government and sentence to prison. Francey is also a strong Martin Luther King supporter.


Luc Francey loves nature and “alpine randonnées,” in the Jura region as well as in le Val d’Hérens. He is also fascinated by the keen eye of Robert Hainard, a Swiss sculptor and engraver, who specializes in wildlife and does all his sketches at night.


Luc is the son of Aloys Francey and Marguerite Stahl, and the grandson of Alexandre Francey, educator and later mayor of the Broye Region in the Canton of Fribourg. Luc Francey marries Mireille Bura in December, 1949. They have four children: Nicolette, Isabelle, Anne and Martin.


  1. “Lettre Ouverte” L’Essor-March Easter 1963
  2. “Marches de Pâques” Sentinelle, La | vendredi, avril 03, 1964 |
  3. “Grandson, Le Professeur Francey”  La Sentinelle, 11,01,1964 
  4. “Declaration du Professeur Francey” La Sentinelle, 11.01.1964
  5. “Pour Une Defense Nationale Positive” Essor, L´ | vendredi, février 14, 1964
  6. “Objection a la protection civile” L’Essor Objection 1967
  7. “Luc Francey répond a nos Objections”  Essor, L´ | mardi, mars 22, 1968
  8. “Pour un service civil: Une resolution des participants a un cours de repetition.”Confédéré | lundi, novembre 30, 1970 |
  9. L’Institution d’un service civil: pas conforme à la Constitution” Liberté, La | mercredi, mai 05, 1971 |
  10. “Plus de 60’000 signatures ont été récoltées” Liberté, La | jeudi, janvier 13, 1972 |
  11. “Pour une defense nationale active” Essor, L´ | mardi, mai 23, 1972 |
  12. ” Defense Militaire et Service civil, Alternative nécessaire.”Confédéré | mardi, février 08, 1972
  13. “Exportation d’Armes”  L’Essor, May 13, 1972
  14. “Lettre de Monsieur Pierre Aubert, president de la Confédération, à Luc Francey. Lettre de Pierre Aubert
  15. Adieu a notre ami Luc, L’Essor, Vendredi, May 01, 1992, More
  16. “Un Raz-de-marée de oui.” Liberté, La | lundi, mai 18, 1992 |
  17. “Les Piliers de l’Essor” Essor, L´ | jeudi, décembre 01, 1994 |
  18. “Loi fédérale sur le service civil” 824.0 Le Conseil Federal Octobre 1995
  19. “Ce que nous avons semé ne sera pas perdu” par Pierrette Junod. L’Essor, 12-1995
  20. “Une vielle connaissance et de nouveaux amis” par Ariane Schmitt L’Essor, 12-1995
  21. “Les missions fondamentales du service civil” Zivi
  22. “Une Foi Inébranlable” Essor, L´ | jeudi, septembre 01, 2005