The cemetery contains the mass grave of 11 resistance fighters.
In October 1944, the Sipo-SD carried out a major raid against the organization of the "Water and Forests" of the district of Saint Dié (Vosges), created in 1941 by the conservative Louis FRANÇOIS and his deputy Jean-François Pelet. A large number of forest rangers were captured with their leaders around 17 October, as well as an SAS lieutenant who took part in Operation Loyton, consisting of sabotaging the rear of the German army to further the Allied breakthrough in the Vosges by relying on the local resists.
The fourteen prisoners were heavily interrogated for several days at the École du Vivivier, in Étival-Clairefontaine, and some of them were subjected to gruesome torture.
On October 22, they were taken in a convoy of a car and a tarpaulin truck to the Barodes sawmill in the valley of ravines, near Saint-Prayel, hamlet of Moyenmoutier.
The leaders, Louis FRANÇOIS and Jean-François Pelet, were shot in the Commune sawmill where they were found buried.
The other twelve, including Lieutenant James Silly of the 2nd SAS, were executed in the Barodest sawmill, which was then set on fire. Their remains, mixed, were buried in the municipal cemetery of Moyenmoutier. A monument inaugurated on the site on October 27, 1946 perpetuates their memory.
The fourteen victims:
Silly James Lovitt
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- Text: TracesOfWar
- Photos: Danielle Meier