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Monument to the French Colonials and "Marsouins"

Monument to the French colonials and the Belgian dead from 1914-1918, located at the French military cemetery l'Orée de la Forêt.

At the top a cross with below: "In honor of the colonials - August 22, 1914"
On the front plinth:
"Died in the field of honor
1st Colonial 877 - 2nd Colonial 795
3rd Colonial 696 - 7th Colonial 669
21st Colonial 780 - 23rd Colonial 760
2nd Colonial Artillery 474 - 3rd African Hunters 365
6th Dragoons 204 - 1st Genie 753

Sides: "112 civilian casualties
cowardly shot by the Germans
on August 26, 1914 in Arlon "

"Belgian soldiers died on the field of honor (4 names)
The southern cemetery contains the graves of 2,379 unknown French soldiers "
August 21, 1927

At the back: text about the inauguration of the monument.

This monument was erected in honor of the French colonial soldiers who fought at Rossignol on August 22, 1914. The French colonials, called the navy troops (nickname marsouin), were then considered the elite of the French army.
The "Marsouin" of the monument, in attack position, seems ready to face the enemy.
He is not so much reminiscent of the Battle of Rossignol itself, but refers to the sense of honor and determination attributed to the colonials.
The statue was made by Edouard Jeanmart's marble mill from St. Marie-sur-Semois. A founding committee was founded on the initiative of the father of Gabriel Feunette, a French soldier who died in this battle. His father would never get over his death for blaming himself for sending his son to the African Hunters. Paul Feunette received the patronage of King Albert I and of numerous Belgian and French personalities. The solemn inauguration took place on August 21, 1927. A year later the father came to the memorial in Rossignol and then committed suicide in the woods.
In 1927, the War Cross was also presented to the municipality of Rossignol to honor the exceptional behavior of the inhabitants during the war. The badge was stolen by the Germans in 1940 but returned in 1948.

Source: information board at monument

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  • Text: Marie-Christine Vinck
  • Photos: Marie-Christine Vinck

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