The remains of a French soldier killed in February 1915 in Massiges have been discovered during trench restoration works ahead of the centennial of the Great War.
Franck Lesjean, who is in charge of the historical heritage at the General Council of Marne, told the AFP that, “this French soldier died for France at the age of 21. His name was Albert Dadure and he was originally from Audouville-la-Hubert, close to Sainte-Mère-Église, in the Contentin Peninsula. He had been enrolled in 1914, in Cherbourg.” The volunteers of the “La main de Massiges” Association found a piece of the soldier’s skeleton on July 21st, during trench restoration works. The archaeological service of Champagne-Ardenne then exhumed the remains.
Identified Thanks To His Name Plate
The president of the “La main de Massiges” Association, Éric Marchal, said that, “the French soldier had been buried in a trench dug and that, fortunately, the aluminum name plate he was wearing at his wrist was still readable.” Marchal added that, “besides the skeleton, some pieces of his boots and the much damaged name plate, there were also some uniform buttons decorated with an anchor, symbol of the colonial infantry regiments from Champagne.” According to Marchal, the trench must have been dug by the Germans at the beginning of the war and then occupied by the French. Marchal added that the soldier was unarmed, leading to the supposition that he had been injured in this trench and then buried by his comrades after they had unsuccessfully tried to save his life.
The 7th Corpse Discovered
The members of the Association have discovered seven corpses of WWI soldiers since the start of the restoration works in March 2012.
“This war was so murderous that there are certainly many others to be discovered,” Marchal said.
According to the General Council of Marne, Albert Dadure’s corpse was confined to the French National Center of Scientific Research in Marseille. Researches are trying to locate some of the soldier’s possible offspring.
Soldier Dadure will be officially buried in a military cemetery in Marne, in September.
This post was translated from French and originally appeared on HuffPost France.