Then came the last letter, dated on the 1st February 1916, three weeks only before the German attack on Verdun:

"... I am glad to announce you that my next holiday leave to come will be totally dedicated to you. Angèle and myself are currently making some arrangements, and I wish to commit to visit you before the end of next April. This will be a great joy for everyone, and as Angèle was saying, I would not be free of myself. This duty leave will be especially for you. So many stories to tell! And my bag is full of battle episodes! I just have become a tough nut, now, and they dared to nickname me: the "Pachyderm" [...] Still in good shape, I sincerely hope that this amazing luck will last until this expected holiday leave, and that we will celebrate together this come back so much desired. I will end sending all of you my best kisses.

Your son and brother,




[Last letter from Henri Baudiment to his parents, dated on the 1st February 1916].