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

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Declaration of war

by Danièle URIOT

What happens, in the village, during this terrible period of the war of 14-18?

The calm of the village is soon disturbed by the word "war" which is on everyone’s lips, and the animation of the soldiers is not to calm the concerns.

Collection Danièle URIOT

In this year 1914, we count 365 people living in the village and we must add 315 soldiers who live in the casemates of the fort and the batteries.

On July 31, 1914, Emile Chrétien, the rural policeman, went from house to house, distributing individual mobilization orders to reservists urging them to return to their bodies.
They meet on the road to Toul, accompanied a bit of the way by the kids from the village.
In the evening, we talk for a long time, reporting current rumors, or expressing our concerns.

From the first days of mobilization, the detachment of the 6th artillery regiment on foot occupied the fort.
In the evening, the lanterns light up (no electricity in the village) and in the distance a bugle sounds the curfew.

It was then that the order for the requisition of the horses arrived at the town hall, which had to be conveyed to Toul and the posters concerning the general mobilization.

The mayor will discreetly urge families not to wait to evacuate the village. The evacuees will only be able to take 60 kg of luggage, they will meet at Toul station which will take them to their place of accommodation. The animals belonging to the starters will be requisitioned and will form a herd at the expense of the municipalities.

It is also planned to : make an inventory of the food resources of the village, the state of the needs of the residents who will not have left it, establish household cards for the allocation of foodstuffs allocated to them, appoint a commission that will manage this organization, obligation to have a pass to leave the village. Assignment of vaulted cellars to families to protect them from possible bombardments, report unexploded shells, prohibition of ringing bells. aso.

The fort and the village were mainly used to receive troops after a stay in the trenches. There were all kinds of weapons and all origins. Some officers stayed with the locals: ex: the second lieutenant LESPES at M GOMO, the captain MARESCAUX, with Amélie LHUILLIER rue de Toul, the lieutenant PLENOT at the school, the chief doctor SIGON at Charles BERNEL, the Commandant THIERY is staying in the officers’ pavilion (square house)...
Following the halt of the German offensive in front of Nancy, Villey le sec regained relative peace.
On Sunday at mass many places are empty; The parish priest urges his parishioners not to lose heart and to endure the trials that await them.

1st August 1914 "day of general mobilization".
Extraordinary meeting of the council: to manage the food of the guard posts, communication routes.
It is decided to place in the event of a siege, the archives of the town hall, civil status, matrix etc. in the vaulted cellar of Mr LHUILLIER.
Organize a permanence at the town hall to sign municipal documents and requisitions.
Meetings are becoming rarer. The Mayor was ill and some councilors were mobilized, often only 3 or 4 people remain.

Collection Danièle URIOT

Then the Mayor receives this instruction from the governor of Toul:

I have the honor to inform you that on this day I took a decree deciding the evacuation of the "useless mouths" of Villey. Attached is the list of people to be evacuated…

After much hesitation, some decide to leave everything and take the train, but where to go?
This is how, for example, Adrienne CUREL, left alone with 3 children, takes Widow MICHEL with her. They load their luggage on the cart and head for Toul station.
3th class cars await travelers on a siding. They meet up with neighbors, MOTAs and many others. Begins a difficult journey west, in appalling conditions. When we arrive in Meaux, our people are taken to the seminary. All is well, we hope to return to Villey le sec soon. If only we had news of the mobilized.

In Villey there are only 145 residents left and empty houses, quickly occupied by a Company of the 41th regiments of territorial.

The farmers organized themselves to harvest and harvest the crops with the women and the remaining residents.

The Germans continue their advance and approach Meaux the population will soon have to evacuate. Once again, our people are packing their bags to evacuate to the south.

At Pont sur Yonne, the train stops, we take a few steps but Félix CHRÉTIEN writes: "this is the canal, you just have to follow the path and we will arrive at the bottom of the coast of Villey le sec". We’ll have a hard time getting him back into the car. He will stop at Sens, the new place of accommodation, to await the end of the war.

But Adrienne doesn’t like it, who decides to return to Villey where she hopes to hear from her husband. She arrives at Toul station and finds him, mobilized as a baker at Fort Toul in Mont St Michel. The next day, provided with a pass, she was driven to Villey. Her house is occupied by the troops but they will quickly return the rooms to her house, luckily her husband will be transferred to baker at Fort Villey.

In July 1916 the council voted to purchase a marble plaque to inscribe the names of the brave fallen on the field of honor and those cited under the orders of the army. In 1916 there were already 8.

In 1917 the town asked the military authority to repair the road to the dam damaged by the passage of trucks and cars going to the bishop’s wood camp. All the roads suffered heavy damage from the passage of troops.

On November 11, 1918, nothing special was recorded in the record of proceedings. I guess like everywhere in France the church bells rang with a bang. The population waited for the return of the mobilized, the wounded.

If the village of Villey le sec escaped the great misfortunes of this war, its children paid a heavy price. They are 15 to have given their lives for the fatherland.