Villey le sec
Villey le sec people also locally named the Trabecs, wish you a happy new year.

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Commemoration of November 11

by Danièle URIOT

Le monument aux morts
The 1918 armistice, signed on November 11, 1918 at 5.15 a.m., marks the end of the fighting of the First World War (1914-1918), the victory of the Allies and the total defeat of Germany, but it is not about of a literal capitulation.

In 1914, 365 people lived in the village, but we must add 315 soldiers who lived in the casemates of the fort and the batteries.

On July 31, 1914, Emile CHRÉTIEN, the rural policeman, went from house to house to distribute individual mobilization orders to reservists which ordered them to return to their army corps without delay. Just enough time to have a snack, to prepare a little bundle, to kiss women and children, and they meet on the road to Toul.

And the usual life takes back its rights... In the early hours of the morning at the town hall the order for requisitioning the horses arrives: out of 56. In the village there will only be 37. Then two gendarmes give the mayor a large sealed envelope, it contains a poster "general mobilization order".
The mayor is planning an evacuation of families to escape the possible dangers of a siege and to evacuate "unnecessary mouths" according to the instructions. It must also "identify the village’s living resources", allocate vaulted cellars to families, report unexploded shells, prohibit ringing of bells... There are 251 people left.

It was then that the evacuation of the families began by train from Toul, a painful journey to the west with no specific goal. They were welcomed in Meaux, at the seminary and settled down as best they could. On August 7, only 145 residents remained in the village, including 10 children.
The news from the front is not very good. While our troops resist in front of Nancy, the Germans continue their advance and they approach Meaux. Once again our people bundle up and are driven south.
Soon the Germans were rushed to the front and routed to the east. At the Bois’Evêque camp 10,000 soldiers were assembled to take part in the "Lorraine offensive", but on November 11 the armistice bugle announced the end of all fighting and everything stopped.

The cease-fire is effective at eleven o’clock, involving throughout France volleys of bells and the ringing of bugles announcing the end of a war which has left more than 8 million dead and disabled or mutilated. The German and Allied generals meet in a converted dining car from Marshal Foch’s staff train, in the Rethondes glade, in the Compiègne forest.

In 1920 the idea was born of paying homage to the soldiers of the Great War "who died for France" but not identified. Following a law passed unanimously by Parliament, the mortal remains of a soldier chosen from among several others in the citadel of Verdun were placed on November 11, 1920 in a fiery chapel at the Arc de Triomphe. On January 28, 1921, the soldier was buried under the Arc de Triomphe in the tomb of the Unknown Soldier. It was only three years later, on November 11, 1923, that the never-extinguishing flame was lit by André Maginot, Minister of War, giving the tomb of the Unknown Soldier a strong symbolic and political significance.

In ancient Greece, a cenotaph was a monument erected in memory of a person but which did not contain a body. The monuments to the dead of the 1914-1918 war are therefore "neo-cenotaphs". They operate a "decoupling" of the memory of the deceased: his birthplace, the one where he was a citizen, man, father or son, celebrates him by name, by his identity as a person. His body, that of the soldier killed in combat, remains, for its part, sometimes unidentified, in the mass graves of the battlefields. The existence of monuments to the nominative dead is also the result of a very important technical constraint: the identification, routing and listing of bodies was impossible at the end of the war. These monuments have therefore replaced cemeteries. In our village very few soldiers were buried in Villey le sec. Mr. Peltier’s granddaughter says that her grandmother and my mother went to search for the body of the grandfather in the Somme, to bury it in the cemetery "died for France".

If the village of Villey le sec escaped the great misfortunes of war, its children paid a heavy price. They are 15 to have given their lives for the fatherland.
We deplore the death of:
- # Emile JOLIN September 8, 1914: 40 years old born May 5, 1874
- # René CROPSAL on December 11, 1914: 26 years old born on 07/18/1888 in Custines
- # Emile WENDELING volunteered on May 15, 1915: 18 years old born on 08/24/1879 in Verdun
- # Henri HÉCHON July 27, 1915 died for France: 20 years
- # Constant CROPSAL brother of René on November 14, 1915: 30 years old, born on September 22, 1885 in Romont
- # Raymond DENIS on December 19, 1915: 25 years old, born in Toul on 1/11/1890
- # Louis GABRIEL on March 2, 1916: 24 years old, born on 08/01/1887 in Villey le sec
- # Jules GÉRARD on April 9, 1916: 22 years old born on 03/12/1894 in Villey le sec
- # Céleste BEURARD on September 4, 1916: 24 years old, born on 12/26/1892 Villey le sec
- # Paul PELTIER on April 18, 1917: 38 years old, born on 06/29/1879 Villey le sec
- # Jules URBAIN on May 5, 1917
- # Pierre LHUILLIER the same day, 5/05/1917 21 years old, born 7/08/1896 Villey le sec
- # Robert THOUVENIN April 12, 1918 20 years old, born January 20, 1898 in Villey le sec
- # Alphonse PELTIER on August 12, 1918 41 years old born on 11/16/1876 in Villey le sec
- # H DUBOZ, died in 1917