Until this year, few would have known the name of dragoons officer Hubert Rochereau, or heard of the tiny village of Bélâbre in central France. But the revelation this autumn that the young soldier’s bedroom, complete with his feathered dress helmet and military jacket, had been preserved for almost 100 years after his death on a Belgian battlefield in the first world war brought unexpected recognition to both.
Now Laurent Laroche, mayor of Bélâbre, is hoping his commune’s new-found fame will also bring a benefactor to save Rochereau’s room for posterity. “When you walk into it it’s as if time has stood still,” he told the Guardian. “On a much smaller scale, I imagine it’s how the explorers felt when they opened the first pyramid or ancient tomb.
“It would be a great shame for it to disappear. As someone who loves history, I feel it’s is also important not to forget the sacrifice made by men like Rochereau.”
Second Lieutenant Hubert Guy Pierre Alphonse Rochereau, 21, a graduate of the elite French Saint-Cyr military school, died in an English field ambulance on 26 April 1918, a day after being wounded during fighting for the village of Loker in Flanders. His parents had no idea where he was buried until 1922 when his body was discovered in a British cemetery and repatriated to the graveyard at Bélâbre.
They turned the room where their son had been born on 10 October 1896 into a permanent memorial, leaving it largely as it had been the day he went off to war.
On the shelves his school books and military manuals collect dust. On his desk lie a filled pipe, Gold Flake cigarettes, two pistols, a knife; keys and a notebook remain untouched alongside a small vial labelled as containing “the earth of Flanders in which our dear child fell and which kept his remains for four years”.
On the lace counterpane that covers his iron bedstead are Rochereau’s medals – the Croix de Guerre and the Legion d’Honneur – and photographs of friends who also died in the war.
The grief-stricken Rochereau, a distinguished military family whose forefathers were believed to go back to the French Revolution and Napoleon Bonaparte, then bricked up the entrance to the room.
However, Laroche revealed that the sealing of the room was just the beginning of the property’s extraordinary and controversial history.
In 1935, Hubert Rochereau’s parents bequeathed their substantial mansion house in Bélâbre to a military friend, General Eugène Bridoux, on the express condition that their late son’s room would remain untouched and unchanged for 500 years.
Seven years later, Bridoux became secretary of state in the Vichy regime and was responsible for organising the deportation of Jewish families to the Nazi concentration camps. During the Allied liberation of France, he escaped to Germany before being captured and returned to France where he again escaped and fled to Franco’s Spain where he remained until his death in 1955.
Bridoux was condemned to death by the French authorities in absentia and his house in Bélâbre confiscated as the property of a collaborator. Laroche said it was rented to a family of solicitors until it was reclaimed in the 1950s by Bridoux’s granddaughter, whose husband, Daniel Fabre, still lives in the house.
“They knew about the room at the end of the corridor but had never seen it because it was bricked up. So they broke down the wall and made this strange discovery,” Laroche said.
“The family invited local officials to see it in the 1980s and said they intended to keep the promise made to keep the room untouched even though the clause in the sale document has no basis in French law. But we cannot forget that it is a private property. Mr Fabre has two daughters and we don’t know what they will do with it one day. Indeed, they are perfectly free to do whatever they want.
After days of trekking, we were happy to head back to town.. but a few min into the drive, we crossed this red stream. It was intriguing, so we decided to follow a small path that went upstream.. and found an abandoned stone house. Wonder what the story is here.
me pulling up into church driveway in rusty beat-up white van, FREE FORBIDDEN KNOWLEDGE INSIDE scratched into its side with a nail, “hey guys just got back from mac donal yall want anything”
I’m so glad I can’t relate to most of the high note joke posts on here because it means I grew up in a clean, anime free environment (rammed dirt floor room (sheened with linseed oil and beeswax), slot in door where the grains came through, hole in corner where I could dispose of waste or shout into, the usual rural Virginia childhood yknow the deal) and I am stronger for it.
Apr 17 1917
Apr 17 1916
Apr 17 1915
James C Dozier, 1st Lt, Co. G, 118th Infantry
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty in action with the enemy near Montbrehain, France, 8 October, 1918.
In command of two platoons, Lieutenant Dozier was painfully wounded in the shoulder early in the attack, but he continued to lead his men, displaying the highest bravery and skill. When his command was held up by heavy machine-gun fire, he disposed his men in the best cover available and with a soldier continued forward to attack a machine-gun nest. Creeping up to the position in the face of intense fire, he killed the entire crew
with hand grenades and his pistol and a little later captured a number of Germans who had taken refuge in a dugout nearby.
I thank god that nobody in my circles interacts with or is a kinnie. Could you imagine logging on and one of your mutuals is mad because someone else is larping as the anime character they larp as?
nobody understands how to spot terf dogwhistles anymore bc everyone on this fucking site agrees with radical feminist theory as long as it doesn’t explicitly say trans people are fake lmao
And this is why you can’t treat TERF and transphobic as one the synonym of the other
TERFs are transphobic by definition, but there is so much rot in the ideology you can’t just focus on that one aspect
Puritanical views on sex/porn/BDSM, biphobia and ESPECIALLY misandry (which is the matrix of their transphobia btw, strange how nobody gives a shit about that huh), are all core tenents of radfeminism, and if you do crap like “I’m stealing this post from a TERF but I’ll say it: bi women who voluntarily go in a relationship with a man shouldn’t go at pride because they benefit from straight privilege”, congratulations, you’re spreading radfem theoric!
This is also why we get people who put TERFs and truscum in the same category (”TERFs/truscum don’t interact”), because they’re both transphobic so they’re equally reprehensible, right? Well… you can disagree with transmeds all you want, but you’re pretty much saying that trans people who believe you need dysphoria to be trans and bitter cis women who think trans women are men who fetishize the “struggle of femaleness” are the same thing. Maybe people should think about what words actually mean.
im communist mostly because i hate shopping and want the government to give me 3 bean tickets and 1 bread ticket each day so my choice is made up for me
anti communism jokes sure haven’t evolved huh
ill try to be cleverer when i attempt to roast this mass murdering economic system in the future