The La Forestière national cemetery in Lachalade
La nécropole nationale La Forestière. © ECPAD
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The La Forestière national cemetery, also nicknamed "the hydrangea cemetery", mainly holds the remains of soldiers who gave their lives for France during the battles in Argonne between 1914 and 1918. Created in 1915, this cemetery was developed between 1920 and 1925 in order to welcome the bodies of other soldiers who had fallen in this sector, exhumed from military cemeteries on the left banks of the Meuse. Today, 2,005 soldiers lie there.
With its unique landscape, this cemetery is characterised by its blue, pink and white hydrangeas. Planted after the war by Countess de Martimprey, widow of Captain de Martimprey, these flowers bear witness to the suffering of this lady whose husband was reported missing during the fighting at La Haute-Chevauchée on hill 285 on 13 July 1915. At Lachalade there is a monument to the memory of the Italian volunteers who fell in Argonne, including Bruno and Costante Garibaldi, grandsons of Giuseppe Garibaldi, the hero of the Italian independence. Lazare Ponticelli, of Italian origin, who was the last French "poilu" (infantryman) and who died in 2008, was one of these Italian soldiers. Nearby, a cross marks the site of the former cemetery of the Garibaldis, whose graves were transferred to the Italian cemetery in Bligny (Marne).
A l’ouest de Verdun, D 2
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