Ben M'Sick French Military Cemetery in Casablanca
Ben M'Sick French Military Cemetery. Source: MINDEF/SGA/DMPA
This cemetery contains the graves of soldiers killed in Morocco during the period of the French Protectorate between 1907 and 1956.
The Ben M'Sick Military Cemetery in Casablanca, Morocco, contains the graves of soldiers killed in Morocco during the period of the French Protectorate between 1907 and 1956. It comprises military sections within the European cemeteries.
The Department of Veterans and War Victims in Casablanca maintains seven French cemeteries in Rabat, Fes, Meknes, Marrakech, Agadir, Kenitra and Ben M'Sick in Casablanca.
Grouping operations were carried out starting in 1957 and the Ben M'Sick site was chosen for the programme.
358 tombs from Meknes were transferred to Casablanca in 1989. The French part of Ben M'Sick, covering 9,950 m², includes two columbaria, three military sections, another for the merchant marine and a memorial. The first columbarium, completed in 1937, was proposed by Mr. Padovani, Souvenir Français delegate in Casablanca. It was inaugurated on 9 April 1938. Its crypt, at the intersection of the alleys, contains 1,365 bodies. It brought together 896 remains from the cemeteries in Fes (21), Taza (398), Meknes (48), Casablanca (76), Tadla (125), Marrakech (109) and Tafilet (119).
The second columbarium, inaugurated on 11 November 1963, was built following plans by the architect Duhon. It has more than 12,000 compartments, 8,628 of which are occupied. The memorial space is the result of the combination of four commemorative monuments and steles in 1990. The “Navy” memorial includes the Navy plaque, formerly located on Place de la Marine in Casablanca, in memory of the fleet’s intervention in 1907, and the plaque commemorating the crew of the Aéronavale Goliath F G5, which disappeared at Chechaouen in 1925. The “Aviation” memorial, initially installed at El-Hank cemetery in Casablanca in 1937, is a menhir erected to honour the “military aviators who fell for Morocco in their Tombs”. The “Army” memorial comprises a plaque from Tizin Rnim pass in remembrance of the sacrifice of troops of all formations in the region of El-Ksiba. The last one, the “Deportation” memorial, was installed in 1953 at the initiative of the Association of French Veterans in Morocco. It contains soil from several concentration camps. The four military sections contain 645 tombs. Responsibility for management and maintenance lies with the Department of Veterans and War Victims at the Ministry of Defence, under the French Embassy in Morocco.
The British and Germans have set up a final resting place for their comrades who fell in Morocco, on nearly 1,500 m². The English section has 48 tombs of British, South African and Canadian pilots and sailors who fell during WWII. The German section has 344 tombs: 120 bodies from WWI and 224 from WWII. The tombs of these men killed in battle or who died in captivity in Morocco were gathered together in 1978. An American monument commemorates the Allied landing in Morocco in Operation Torch (8 November 1942). It was inaugurated for the 50th anniversary of these events. Commemorative ceremonies are held each 11 November and 8 May.
French Embassy in Morocco
Service des Anciens Combattants et de l'Appareillage des Handicapés
17, avenue Hassan Souktani B.P. 15783 - Casablanca Principal
Tel.: 022 20 03 63 / 20 36 16
Fax: 022 20 36 15