Saturday, June 07, 2014

The Tourcoing War Memorial, France (59)

1. "Towards Victory": Tourcoing's War Memorial
2. "Winged Victory": leading the Fallen to victory.
3. The Tourcoing War Memorial (reverse panels)
4. The list of Tourcoing's War Dead (1939 onwards)
For additional information click on 'Comments' below.


Blogger ritsonvaljos said...

Additional information

Towards the southern edge of Tourcoing city centre is the 'Place de la Victoire' (Victory Square) where the civic war memorial is located [Photograph No. 1]. The official name of the war memorial is "Towards Victory" and this is what gives the square its name.

In 1919, after the First World War of 1914 - 1918, the municipality took the decision to build a memorial for those who had lost their lives in the war. Responsibility for the work, regarded as one of the finest in France, was given over to Édouard Monestès (architect) and Lucien Brasseur (sculptor). Work on the memorial began in 1924 and was completed in 1931when it was finally dedicated.

The work shows "Winged Victory" leading the soldiers towards immortal glory (in French, « La Victoire qui mène les soldats à la gloire et à l'immortalité » [Photograph No. 2]. The face of the female figure of Victory perched on the winged horse is that of Louis Brasseur's wife. He also used his own features for one of the soldiers.

Originally, the heroes and heroines commemorated by this memorial were the 2,531 Tourcoing citizens who lost their lives as serving soldiers in the 1914 - 1918 war. Their names are listed on panels situated either side of the sculptured figures. A further 177 names of civilians who died because of the German occupation between 12 October 1914 and 17 October 1918.

During the Second World War, Tourcoing was again occupied by German troops (28 May 1940 - 3 September 1944). After the end of the Second World War in 1945 France has also been involved in other military conflicts in which citizens of Tourcoing have lost their lives, most notably the wars in Indo-China (1939 - 1956), Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia (1952 - 1962). The names of those who died in these conflicts have been added to the rear of the Tourcoing War Memorial [Photograph No. 3]. The list of names can be seen in Photograph No. 4 (above).

As with the rest of France official services of commemoration take place at the memorial each year on 8 May (anniversary of V.E. Day, 1945) and 11 November (anniversary of the Armistice of 1918).

Saturday, 07 June, 2014  

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