Chauconin-Neufmontiers National Military Cemetery
The Great Tomb of Villeroy
La nécropole nationale de Chauconin-Neufmontiers. © ECPAD
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Chauconin-Neufmontiers National Military Cemetery holds the remains of soldiers who died for France during the early days of the Battle of the Ourcq (September 1914). Created in the aftermath of the fighting, the Great Tomb of Villeroy continued to be expanded until 1924 and is typical of military cemeteries at the start of the First World War. At that time, troops were generally buried in mass graves. This practice continued until 1915, when the law of 29 December 1915 gave soldiers who died for France the right to be buried in individual graves.
Today the Great Tomb contains the bodies of 127 French soldiers, 32 of them unknown, in a single grave.
In 1932 the Souvenir Français association erected the monument made from stone, marble and mosaic preserving the memory of the 95 identified soldiers from the 231st, 246th and 276th infantry regiments.
They include author and poet Charles Péguy, who was killed on 5 September 1914.
Just 400 metres from the Great Tomb, a granite monument shows the place where Lieutenant Péguy went into attack and was killed 150 metres further on, in the field opposite the stele.
À l’ouest de Meaux, D 129
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