The "Les Chesneaux" national cemetery at Château-Thierry
La nécropole nationale Les Chesneaux. © ECPAD
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Located at "Les Chesneaux", this national cemetery contains the remains of 2,103 soldiers who died in the fighting that took place in the area in 1918. This cemetery was arranged in order to bring together the bodies of soldiers exhumed from isolated graves or various temporary cemeteries. Around 2,088 bodies from the Great War, including 698 in two ossuaries, are gathered here. Nine Britons including two unknown soldiers, a member of the British Red Cross assigned to the French army and four Russians also lie here.
In May 1918, General Foch turned to Pershing in order to quickly avail of military support from the United States, which had joined the war in April 1917. Two divisions were deployed in the Château-Thierry region in order to contain the enemy advance. For most of these men, it was a baptism of fire. On 4 June, at the cost of significant losses, the movement was halted and, on 6 June, the 2nd American division (DIUS) took over, in the Bois Belleau in particular.
At Château-Thierry, an imposing memorial, Rock of the Marne, was inaugurated in 1933, in memory of the offensive of 18 July 1918 during the second battle of the Marne. Built by the architect Paul Philippe Cret, assisted by Achille-Henri Chauquet, it is a reminder of the commitment of the Americans alongside the French during the second battle of the Marne, notably on Hill 204.
Only two soldiers from the Second World War are buried here: Charles de Rouge, officer cadet with the 1st tank battalion, who died on 10 June 1940 (grave n° 1378) and lieutenant Pierre Charles Pain (grave 585).
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