Charles N’Tchoréré

1896 – 1940
Captain N’Tchoréré, commander of the 7th Company of the 53rd RICMS. Source: Musée des troupes de marine (Museum of the Troupes de Marine)

The son of a notable Mpongwe family, Charles N’Tchoréré was a student at the Ecole Montfort. Forced to enter the world of employment, he occupied a sales post in Cameroon.

At the outbreak of war in 1914, he left his German colony and returned to Gabon. In 1916, he voluntary enlisted to fight on the front line. At the end of the war, he decided to pursue a career in the military. Appointed to warrant officer in 1919, he fought in Morocco. After joining the officers’ training academy in Fréjus, he left at the rank of major in 1922. Sent to the Levant, Lieutenant N’Tchoréré was gravely wounded during operations in Syria. He was cited in 1925 to the Order of the Division and decorated with Croix de Guerre with a silver star.

Following a brief interlude working at the ministry of war, he asked to be sent to Sudan. In Kati he took the command of the out-of-ranks company of the 2nd RTS (Regiment of Senegalese Tirailleurs), at the same time as being headmaster at the army children’s school.

Promoted to Captain in 1933, he was appointed to the 1st RTS in Saint-Louis (Senegal) where he again was at the head of the school for troop children.

At the outbreak of war in September 1939, he requested to take command of a battalion of Gabonese volunteers. Assigned to the Camp de Sauge, near Bordeaux, he was sent to the front on the Somme River where he took command of the 7th company of the 53rd RICMS (Mixed Colonial Senegalese Infantry Regiment). On 7 June, entrenched in the village of Airaines, near Amiens, Captain N’Tchoréré and his men, overwhelmed by German attacks, were taken prisoner after days of fierce resistance. However, a German officer refused to treat N’Tchoréré as an officer and when he refused to fall in line with the black enlisted soldiers, he was shot point blank.

For his conduct during the campaign in France, Captain N’Tchoréré was posthumously cited to the Order of the Division in October 1940 and then to the Order of the Army Corps in August 1954 and decorated with the Croix de Guerre with the silver gilt star attachment.

The 1957-1959 graduating year of the training academy for officers from overseas territories took the name Captain N’Tchoréré.