On the 5th of September 1914, only a few hours after the first Battle of the Marne started, the author and poet Charles Peguy is shot down with a bullet in the head, as he bravely leads his troops attacking German positions
Around 16:30, under a scorching heat, the 276th Infantry Regiment to which he belongs storms towards Monthyon’s mound in order to cover the retreat of Moroccan infantrymen fighting with the Germans. Exposed, in a field deprived of any shelter, men are falling one by one under German machine gun’s fire.
This memorial stone pays tribute to this monument of French literature, who fell in the first moments of the battle. At the base of the cross, some verses remind us of the work of this great author and his patriotic sentiments.
“Blessed are those who died for carnal earth.
Provided it was in a just war.
Blessed are those who died for a plot of ground.
Blessed are those who died a solemn death.
Blessed are those who died in great battles.
Stretched out on the ground in the face of God.
Blessed are those who died on a final high place,
Amid all the pomp of grandiose funerals.
Blessed are those who died, for they have returned
Into primeval clay and primeval earth.
Blessed are those who died in a just war.
Blessed is the wheat that is ripe and the wheat that is gathered in sheaves.”
Charles Péguy – Eve (1913) – Excerpt
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Office de Tourisme du Pays de Meaux - 22/03/2020