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Souain-Perthes-lès-Hurlus
Marne

Champagne-Ardenne

D977
(Ferme de Navarin)

Monument Ossuaire de Navarin

Ossuary Monument of Navarin

Maxime Real del Sarte
1924

Souain-Perthes-lès-Hurlus /  Monument Ossuaire de Navarin   Souain-Perthes-lès-Hurlus /  Monument Ossuaire de Navarin

Description

Ossuary monument consisting of a pyramid of concrete and pink sandstone surmounted by a sculpture group of three soldiers. The three soldiers sculpted by Maxime Real del Sarte (mutilated 14/18, he had only one arm) have the features of:

Souain-Perthes-lès-Hurlus - Monument Ossuaire de Navarin
Serge Louis Henry Real del Sarte (Paris 1892 - Soissons 1917), brother of sculptor, killed on the Chemin des Dames in 1917 (Geneanet).
Souain-Perthes-lès-Hurlus - Monument Ossuaire de Navarin
Henri Joseph Eugène Gouraud (Paris 1867 - Paris 1946), French general, best known for his leadership of the French Fourth Army at the end of the First World War (Wikipedia).
Souain-Perthes-lès-Hurlus - Monument Ossuaire de Navarin
Quentin Roosevelt (Washington 1897 - Chamery, Marne 1918), pilot, killed in aerial combat over France, son of president Theodore Roosevelt (Wikipedia).

Inscription(s)

1914 AVX MORTS
DES ARMEES DE CHAMPAGNE
1918

Signature

Sculp. Real Del Sarte 1924

Information Sign

Information sign in French and English. This is the English text (photo of the complete sign available on request):

Histsory

This pyramid_shaped monument, an impressive commemorative site, was built near to the former farm of Rougemont (built between 1827 and 1836), afterwards known as "Navarin Farm" from ther end of the 19th century.
Navarin, a central point of the front in Champagne, is on a line of high ground (the hills of Souain, Tahure, Le Mesnil, Hill 193, Mont Tétu and Main de Massiges to the east, Monts de Champagne to the west) in front of which the French offensive of the autumn of 1915 failed. The farm disappeared in the ferocious fighting. On 27th February 1916, German troops consolidated their positions and approaching the ruins of Navarin Farm. The front in Champagne enjoyed relative calm until 1917. On 15th July 1918, Germany, bled dry, wanted to bring things to an end, and led a final grand assault called Friedensturm (Peace Offensive). General Gouraud, commanding the 4th Army of Champagne, applied a judicious defensive tactic on the line passing to the east of Reims at La Main de Massiges, thus breaking any hope of victory for the enemy. From these heights, he launched the Franco-American offensive on 26th September 1918, which freed the north of the Marne and pushed back the line of fighting towards the Ardennes.

Construction

Built on the initiative of Général Gouraud and his companions in arms, the Navarin monument was inaugurated in 1924. 0n top there is an imposing group of three soldiers in stone, facing an attack from the north-west. The sculptor was Maxime Real del Sarte, and he gave:

  • the soldier in the centre the features of General Gouraud,
  • the solder on the right the features of Quentin Roosevelt, son of the President of the United States Theodore Roosevelt, who died in the skies of France on 14th July 1918 at Chamery (in the Department of Aisne),
  • the soldier on the left the features of his brother, killed on the Chemin des Dames in 1917.
On the plinth are inscribed the numbers of more than 100 French and Allied divisions which fought in Champagne. Inside the monument is a chapel for contemplation, whose walls are covered with more than 1,000 plaques with names, put up by the families of soldiers who fell. In the crypt lie the remains of 10,000 soldiers. General Gouraud lies there, as does his Chief of Staff, General Prételat.
This has become a major site for remembrance of the Great War, and the Fondation du Monument aux Morts des Armées de Champagne et Ossuaire de Navarin (Foundation of the Monument to the Armies of Champagne and the Navarin Ossuary) looks after it, and each year the Association du Souvenir aux Morts des Armées de Champagne (The Association of Remembrance of the Dead of the Armies of Champagne) organises an important ceremony and visits.

Souain-Perthes-lès-Hurlus - Monument Ossuaire de Navarin

Sculptor

Sources & Information

Tags

Location (N 49°13'6" - E 4°32'31")

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Item Code: frca045; Photograph: 26 May 2019
Of each statue we made photos from various angles and also detail photos of the various texts.
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© Website and photos: René & Peter van der Krogt

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