French-German Cemetery of Maissin

Cimetière de maissin.
The cemetery of Maissin pays tribute to the French and Germans who died in the Battle of the Frontiers. And more particularly to the Bretons, many of whom fell in the first confrontations of the Great War.

A French-German cemetery of the Battle of the Frontiers

Graves of 1,459 unknown French

During the summer of 1914, German and French troops fought around a dozen localities in southern Belgium. Among the numerous confrontations, those of August 20 to 24, 1914, have gone down in history as the bloodiest battles. France lost more than 130,000 men in Belgium, including more than 20,000 dead in the Ardennes and Gaume.

In Maissin, the soldiers came from Brittany, but also from Vendée, Loire-Atlantique and Maine-et-Loire. The German soldiers came from Hesse, in the central west of the Empire.

A dozen inhabitants were killed, others were wounded, many fled, and 75 houses were burned on the civilian side.

Graves in the cemetery of Maissin
Monument in the cemetery of Maissin

The cemetery bears the name of Pierre Massé, a veteran of the 19th infantry regiment of Brest. A Breton poet, his words speak for themselves: Un cimetière est, en Belgique, devenu terre d’Armorique

Un cimetière est, en Belgique, devenu terre d’Armorique

Puisque nos enfants l’ont peuplé.

Je veux là-bas que l’on me dresse ;

Et tous les siècles de tendresse

En mon granit accumulé (…)

Et près de tous ceux qui reposent

Je deviendrai ces douces choses

Qu’on ne peut jamais oublier ;

Les invocations d’une mère,

Et l’ombre apaisante et légère

Qui tourne autour de nos clochers.

Useful information

Address
Rue Commandant Henri Calvez 24
6852 Paliseul
Country Belgium
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