The national necropolis of Cerny-en-Laonnois
La nécropole nationale de Cerny-en-Laonnois. © Guillaume Pichard
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The national necropolis of Cerny-en-Laonnois is one of the main heritage sites of the Chemin des Dames. Laid out between 1919 and 1925, it contains the bodies of soldiers who lost their lives over the course of the war in this emblematic sector of the history of the Great War. More than 5,200 French soldiers lie there (2,386 in ossuaries), together with 54 Russians. The interred soldiers include the body of Albert Truton (grave 1774), a private in the 75th infantry regiment. On 8th June 1917 he was judged to have mutinied along with eleven of his comrades. Condemned to death, he was shot in Pargnan in the Aisne.
A nearby German cemetery contains 4,346 soldiers (3,993 in ossuaries). Major commemorative ceremonies are held at the Chemin des Dames memorial chapel, which is on the other side of the road. On the square in front of the edifice stands a “lantern of the dead” preserving the memory of the soldiers who died during the conflict. The memorial is completed by a British monument to the British Expeditionary Forces’ engagement in the sector, notably the first battalion of the North Loyal Lancashire Regiment, which in September 1914 fought around the old sugar factory overlooking the plateau.
À 17 km au sud-est de Laon Carrefour CD 18 (Chemin des Dames) et CD 967 (Laon/Fisme)
Visites libres toute l’année
Comité Départemental du Tourisme de l'Aisne
26, avenue Charles de Gaulle
02007 Laon Cedex
Tél. : 03 23 27 76 76