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The Great War and the Western Front

From August 1914 to November 1918, France has been one of the major battlefields of the First World War. Our region has paid a heavy price for the “Great War”.
On the Champagne front, four major battles took place:

  • grande-guerre-chalons-marneThe powerful French offensive of September 25th, 1915
  • Taking back the Moronvilliers uplands to the enemy in April and May 1917
  • The failure of the final German attack, the “Friedensturm” by the 4th Army of General Gouraud on July 15th, 1918
  • The victorious Franco-American offensive of September 26th, 1918 which liberated Sommepy and ended on November 11th in Sedan

Since 2014, many events are organized to commemorate the centenary of the conflict. Each site keeps memories and important places of remembrance invite to reverence.

To know the full program of commemorative events, log onto: Marne 14-18

 

The plate of the American Unknown Soldier in the City Hall of Chalons-en-Champagne.

 

On October 22nd, 1921, four bodies were exhumed and examined to certify that the death was due to a combat injury. The four coffins are on display in the lobby of the City Hall that serves as a chapel. The F.Younger sergeant, wounded twice during the war lays a bouquet of white roses on one of the four anonymous coffins. This anonymous person will become the symbol of all missing Americans soldiers. On November 11th 1921, the coffin was buried in Arlington. On July 4th, 1939, a plate commemorating this ceremony was put in the lobby of the City Hall of Chalons-sur-Marne.