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Wording on Belgian Memorial

Discussion in 'Western Europe 1943 - 1945' started by Doc Sausage, Jun 2, 2015.

  1. Doc Sausage

    Doc Sausage Member

    Jan 5, 2014
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    Good evening

    On the outside wall of the church in Cheneaux there are two memorials, one to the civilians of Cheneaux who died during the Battle of the Bulge and a smaller one to men from La Gleize.

    Three are recorded as "Sont Tombes Au Champ D'Honneur" (fallen on the field of honour); one "est morts des suites de ses blessures" (died from their wounds) but a third one is recorded as "est mort sous les drapeaux" (died under the flags/colours)

    I wondered if anyone knew why there was a distinction between the field of honour and under the colours

    Thanks in advance
    Doc Sausage

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  2. Arthur124

    Arthur124 Member

    May 16, 2016
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    In my opinion the difference in wording is related to the date of their death.
    In the Belgian War Dead Register two of the men "tombés au champ d'honneur" died respectively in 1914 and 1916
    while the one "mort sous les drapeaux" fell October 1st 1918.
    E.g. also in France the wording was different depending on the date of the men's death :
    - "fallen on the field of honour" for those fallen up till 1915
    - "died for France" after 1915
  3. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Member

    Feb 16, 2017
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    Doc Sausage

    Have spoken with a French friend this afternoon about this and have come up with:

    "Champ d'honneur" is used for the 18th century as "Champ de bataille";
    The nearest translation of "il est tombé au champ d'honneur", is
    possibly "died for his country"...It is considered as honorable.

    "Mort sous les drapeaux" : when you are serving in the Army or doing
    your military service you are "sous les drapeaux"; so if you die during
    this time you die "sous les drapeaux", generaly on a battlefield.

    To be honest the difference is very thin in a current language.

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