Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Bellefontaine National Necropolis

This is the front monument to Bellefontaine, a national cemetery in La Ferté Saint Aubin, established in 1944/1945 to honor those who lost their lives during World War Two in the Sologne. There are 78 victims buried here, including Gabriel Beaumarié and Maurice Millet, two young men from La Ferté who were shot by Gestapo at Ferme du By outside town on June 10, 1944. 

The bottom of the citation reads: "Dead for the liberty of their country."

The cemetery was created in part by individual donations and became a national site in 1984. This is the view toward the National Route 20. This past Sunday, the annual ceremony was held to honor all local Resistance victims. It's usually scheduled the first Sunday on or after June 10th. As has been the tradition since the 1940s, the names of the victims were read, and then led by members of the Liberté network, participants followed each other out to the sites of the executions in the woods of La Ferté and Marcilly en Villette to pay homage again to victims.


This inscription, on the side of the memorial in the top photo on this page, was placed here by the National Education Department, in honor of the many victims who were students.

This sign is to the right of the large memorial in the second photo. It details the history of the Resistance in the Loiret (our department ) and recounts the executions at Ferme du By and Cerf Bois. It also lists the names and ages of the victims of the farm shootings; they ranged from 17 to as old as only 23.

According to the panel here, the 41 victims were each honored posthumously with several French honors: The Cross of War, the Resistance Medallion and the Legion of Honor.

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