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What about the French?

Discussion in 'World War II Cemeteries' started by eireann, Feb 24, 2008.

  1. eireann

    eireann New Member

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    There were French soldiers, too, no? Is there a special memorial or something of the like for the men and women of France who served in the war?
     
  2. brianw

    brianw Member

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    This was taken directly from the webpage at:
    http://www.greatwar.co.uk/westfront/cemeteries/frcemies.htm

    Le Ministère des Pensions
    There are 265 cemeteries in France classed as "nécropoles nationales" - national cemeteries - for those who have died for France, "Mort pour la France". These cemeteries contain the remains of almost 730,000 bodies, of which 240,000 are in ossuaries, who served with the French army from 1855 to 1986. It includes members of the Resistance, deportees and foreigners who fought under the French flag in the wars of 1870-71, 1914-18 and 1939-45.

    December 1915
    On 29 December 1915 a law was passed giving the right to a perpetual resting place on French soil to any soldier in the French Army or Allied Army who had died for France.

    February 1916
    Faced with an enormous number of losses of French soldiers in 1914-1915 the French government set up the Service général des Pensions on 18 February 1916. During the First World War this government department was part of the War Ministry.

    November 1918
    On 25 November 1918 a national commission for military graves was established to oversee the reorganisation of the national military cemeteries and sepulchures to conform to a standard architectural and horticultural style. Each cemetery was to be laid out with a central pathway containing a flagpole for the national flag. Concrete crosses or marker stones were to replace original grave markers, these generally being wooden crosses made by the military burial parties.

    1920-1935
    On 27 January, 1920 the Ministère des Pensions was created and it took over responsibility for looking after the military graves and sepulchres.
    On 11 November 1920 the French 'unknown soldier' (le Soldat Inconnu) was laid in the tomb under the Arc de Triomphe in Paris. The tomb is now commemorated with an "eternal flame".
    By the end of 1925 the Ministère des Pensions had carried out 960,000 exhumations from the old First World War battlefields and smaller burial sites. 22,000 bodies of German prisoners of war had been repatriated to Germany for reburial.

    1939-1946
    In September 1939 the graves service was moved to the War Ministry again. With the liberation of France in 1944 and the end of the war in Europe in May 1945 the responsibility for looking after the military burial sites was passed to the local civilian goverment offices of each of the regional Departments.
    A law was passed on 16 October 1946 which gave parents the right to remove a soldier from a military cemetery and take him home for reburial. About 125,000 soldiers killed in the First and Second World Wars were removed from military sites at about that time. This law also applied to more recent conflicts involving French troops in Indochina, Korea and Madagascar.

    Mémoire des Hommes
    In memory of the many thousands of French servicemen who have served their country at times of conflict since 1914 the French Ministry of Defence has provided a website (in French, English, German and Spanish) providing thousands of digitalized biographical records. Visit the site at mémoire des hommes.
    ______________________________________________________________________________________________

    Acknowledgements
    Text translated from Atlas des Nécropoles Nationales
    For information about the National Commission for French Military Graves contact:
    Ministère des anciens Combattants et Victimes de Guerre, Délégation à la Mémoire et à l'Information Historique, 37, rue de Bellechasse, 75007 Paris, France
     
  3. Cabel1960

    Cabel1960 recruit

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    Not sure with this, but maybe the focus at the time was for the liberators and not for the occupied? This is just my sentiments on the issue. :blue:
     

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