After taking the last forts of Liège, on 16th August 1914, the German Second Army skirted Namur and drove on towards Sambre from 20th August, close to Tamines. The Belgian troops then began their withdrawal to Antwerp. The invaders faced the 19th Bonnier division of the 10th French army corps, which was holding on to the river crossings firmly. The battle of the Sambre was about to begin. Officially, 613 soldiers died in the battle. But the Germans, infuriated by their defeat, embarked on reprisals among the civilian population. The violence and hostage-taking ended in a bloodbath: 383 inhabitants of Tamines, from children to the elderly, were herded into the market square and slaughtered by machine guns, some dying drowned or burned alive. A group of monuments stands a testament today. The most spectacular memorial is a high stone plinth featuring a statue evoking the massacre. A standing woman, symbolising the town sentenced to death, raises her arm to the sky. At her feet, three bodies recall the victims. The "Martyrs of Tamines" is the work of the sculptors Henri Mascré and Hector Brognon. The group of memorials was inaugurated on 22nd August 1926 at the site of the massacre, adjoining the bridge over the Sambre. A number of lawns are the backdrop for the stones on which the names of the dead are engraved. The memorial way extends along the outside walls of the nearby parish church, which is still surrounded by its old cemetery and that since then has been known as the "Cemetery of the Shot Ones".
Listed: 02-07-2009 (Cemetery of the Shot Ones, Enclosure of the Shot Ones and commemorative monument)