The Revigny-sur-Ornain Cemetery

La nécropole de Revigny-sur-Ornain. © ECPAD


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Behind the Champagne and Verdun fronts, Revigny was an essential hub in the organisation of the French front. This is why, on 21 February 1916, the first day of the Verdun offensive, three German zeppelins flew over the town and targeted the Revigny railway junction. Lit up by spotlight beams, these aircraft were targeted by the armoured cars of the 17th section of autocannons. One of them, the L.Z 77., was shot down. None of the 22 crew members survived. For propaganda purposes, the media at the time reported the story of the first anti-aircraft battle in history. Those involved in the attack were honoured by President Poincaré. This feat of arms ensured that the Sacred Way railway, the Meusien, could continue to operate. This narrow path provided a route to the Verdun front.

Located near the Sacred Way and far from the front, the town of Revigny, like Lemmes-Vadelaincourt, took in many wounded people, almost 700 a day. A train loaded with the wounded arrived almost every thirty minutes. These men were cared for in medical units set up in the former girls' school or in barracks. The most seriously wounded succumbed to their injuries, while the others, those in the best health, were sent to other hospitals behind the lines.

Set up near an old field hospital, the Revigny-sur-Ornain National Cemetery was built in 1915 to bury soldiers who had succumbed to injuries received on the Champagne and Verdun fronts. Expanded in 1922 to make room for the bodies of other soldiers, this military cemetery holds the remains of 1,313 soldiers who fought in the Great War, 72 of whom lie in an ossuary. Almost one thousand of these men were killed during the Vassincourt battles in the summer of 1914. At the centre of the cemetery stands a monument honouring the memory of those who died at Champagne and Verdun.


  • La nécropole de Revigny-sur-Ornain. © ECPAD

  • La nécropole de Revigny-sur-Ornain. © ECPAD

  • La nécropole de Revigny-sur-Ornain. © ECPAD

  • La nécropole de Revigny-sur-Ornain. © ECPAD

  • La nécropole de Revigny-sur-Ornain. © ECPAD

  • La nécropole de Revigny-sur-Ornain. © ECPAD

  • Façade de l'église de Revigny incendiée par les Allemands en octobre 1914. © Collections BDIC

  • Ruines du village de Revigny incendié en octobre 1914 par les Allemands, mars 1915. © Collections BDIC

  • Débris du zeppelin abattu le 25 février 1916 à Revigny. © Collections BDIC

  • Parc d'artillerie à Revigny, mars 1916. © Collections BDIC

  • Embarquement d'un régiment d'artillerie à Revigny, mars 1916. © Collections BDIC

  • Montée en ligne de soldats français vers Verdun, mars 1916. © Collections BDIC

  • Construction d'une voie ferrée reliant la ligne Verdun - Revigny, juin 1916. © Collections BDIC

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    Au nord-ouest de Bar-le-Duc, D 995

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    Monument aux morts 1914-1918

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