Cerny-en-Laonnois Travel Guide

  • Plenty of graves in the area of Chemin des Dames
    Plenty of graves in the area of Chemin...
    by mtncorg
  • Cerny-en-Laonnois Memorial Church
    Cerny-en-Laonnois Memorial Church
    by mtncorg
  • Chapel interior with some of the memorial plaques
    Chapel interior with some of the...
    by mtncorg

Cerny-en-Laonnois Things to Do

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    by mtncorg Updated Jul 4, 2009

    Guillaume Apollonaire was a well-known French poet, writer and art critic from before the war. His mother was Polish and his father disappeared early on in his life. Apollinaire was considered among the first-rank of early 20th century poets and is credited with the word "surrealism". He was wounded here beneath the Chemin des Dames in the forehead in 1916. Following his wound, he continued to write some of his best known works. He was a victim of the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918 dying at the age of 38.

    Site in the woods where Apollinaire was shot down Monument to Apollinaire
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    by mtncorg Written Jul 4, 2009

    Following the disaster at Caporetto in October 1917, a large contingent of French and British troops had been sent to stabilize the Italian front along the Piave River. As a sign of mutual aid, the 2nd Italian Corps was sent to France on 25 April 1918 in response to the German Spring Offensives. Their main battles in France would occur during the Second Battle of the Marne in the latter part of July 1918. Here, the Italians fought along the Chemin des Dames capturing the nearby town of Soupir on 1 October. There are two Italian cemeteries here in France and this is the smaller of the two. The bodies of 593 soldiers who died mostly along the Chemin des Dames are buried here. Nearby are two French cemeteries – one has 7,806 graves, 2,822 in three ossuaries and 266 in a mass grave; the second contains 1,966 graves and 250 in an ossuary with another 545 soldiers who died in WWII, plus 33 Belgian civilians – and a German cemetery – 5,125 graves and 5,958 in a mass grave.

    Entrance to the Italian Cemetery Soupir Italians who fell on near the Chemin des Dames
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    by mtncorg Written Jul 4, 2009

    There are fourteen different French military cemeteries scattered about along the Chemin des Dames. This one is off the road up a short dirt stretch. It was created in 1917 on the site of a previous casualty clearing station. There are 1,159 graves here with autumn sedum planted atop.

    French cemetery at Oeuilly overlooks Aisne Valley Entrance to cemetery at Oeuilly Graves of the many who died here at the Chemin Christian and Muslim for France
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    • Archeology
    • Historical Travel
    • Road Trip

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