- Feb 14, 2017
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- Home Country
Yes. On Nov 8, 1920, WW1 veteran Auguste Thin (aged 22), chose a coffin among eight containing unidentified bodies of French soldiers, recovered from the most deadly WW1 theaters (Verdun, Somme, Champagne, Chemin des Dames, etc.). The story goes that to make the choice, he added the digits of his former regiment (132th Infantry Regiment) and picked the sixth coffin. The Unknown Soldier was buried under the Arch of Triumph in Paris on Nov 11, 1920 (so two years after the 1918 Armistice). There's only one Unknown Soldier, who now represents all soldiers who died for France, in all conflicts. This idea later inspired other nations.Rapace, Joe, or Petit Caporal is the Arch of Triumph a final resting place for France's unknown Soldiers like we have the Tomb of the unknown soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery? (...)
USMCRET, here is the link to the museum in the Rethondes clearing, near Compiègne.I'd love to see it, do you have a link Rapace.
The poem wasn't specifically written for the soldiers of the Foreign Legion, but of course it perfectly applies to the 35,000 legionnaires who died for France since 1831. A famous book by Paul Bonnecarrère, a WW2 veteran who served in the same regiment as mine, about the Legion campaign in Indochina is titled “Par le sang versé”.(...) Who knows if the unknown who sleeps under the immense arch
Mixing his epic glory with the prides of the past
Is not this stranger who became son of France
Not by the blood received but by the blood shed.
Very interesting you bring up Lord Nelson. When we, the Marines, have what we call a Mess Night, a full blown very orchestrated supper in full dress uniform with all of the pomp and circumstance one can possibly imagine, when one asks to be excused to go to the head (bathroom) one stands, faces the head table and request from the Mess President to “Go Shed a Tear for Lord Nelson” (piss). The folklore surrounding this is that Lord Nelson was preserved in a barrel of rum and he, Lord Nelson, was so loved permission was granted for mourning purposes to the Sailors. Well, sailors being sailors, they went down to drink the rum, but the rum had to be replaced with something... Folklore or tradition records as piss. So that is the origin for asking to “Go and Shed a Tear for Lord Nelson”.Makes me think of Navy ships that sink and all aboard lost for the eternity, all vessels, Subs and ships. Btw, Nelson at Trafalgar had a crew of franchised slaves (freedom fighters springs to mind).