06 janvier 2009

August-September 1914: the first fightings

As soon as August 1914, Henri and Jean-Baptiste and their units took part to the first massive attack North bound, then to the retreat from Belgium. They, then, participated to the Battle of La Marne (Henri was fighting on the grassy slopes of the "Mont-Août" , and Jean-Baptiste in the Marsh of Saint-Gond) before pursuing the ennemy, until the front line got stabilized in Champagne, on the 17th September, 1914. Photography: Henri Baudiment - No specified date.
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07 janvier 2009

18th September 1914: Jean-Baptiste's wound, on the Champagne front

Jean-Baptiste was severely injured in the left eye and in the chest, by some German schrapnell bullets, on the 18th September 1914, in Prunay sur Vesle (Marne). On this occasion, Jean-Baptiste was awarded the "Légion d'Honneur" and the "Croix de Guerre" (with palm), mentioned in dispatches of the Army: "Promoted from Warrant Officer to Second-Lieutenant, for the bravery he showed in all the fights he had been involved in, since the beginning of the campain. Was wounded on the 18th September 1914, and lost his left eye".   ... [Lire la suite]
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08 janvier 2009

From November 1914 to April 1915: Henri fights in Ypres

Meanwhile, Henri was entering Ypres'hell: "...On the 11th [November], the violence of the bombing redoubles, and the German Infantry launches new assaults. The enemy forces are three to four times more numerous. The 90th has been holding the lines for 18 days; the 3rd Batalion in front of Passchendale, the 1st and 2nd Batalions in front of Zillebecke, without relief. The men are exhausted. No more filers. Every day, we had to suffer attacks, but we did progress. But the men have the strong feeling that, like in La Marne, they have... [Lire la suite]
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09 janvier 2009

April 1915: Aimé on the Champagne front

In April 1915, Aimé, who was less than 18 years old, had enlisted by anticipation: he was already a Sergeant, when he was sent to the front, amongst the 1st Batalion of the 8th "Régiment de Marche des Zouaves", the same batalion as his brother, and almost on the very location where Jean-Baptiste had been wounded, seven months earlier. Photography annotated by Henri Baudiment: "Sillery (Marne) April 1915 - In reserve of the front line, 600 meters East of Prunay sur Vesle" (Aimé stands 3rd from the left).   Henri, who had been... [Lire la suite]
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10 janvier 2009

Aimé shot to death, in Artois

The 8th "Régiment de Marche des Zouaves" entered the battles on the 11th May 1915, in Neuville Saint Vaast (Pas de Calais), South of the Vimy Ridge: "...Violent Infantry and machine guns firings are coming from the trenches located at 1000 meters beyond the very front, or from trenches or houses situated nearby the NW part of Neuville St Vaast village, and are creating very heavy losses [...]. The intensity of the enemy firing is such, and the losses so important, that it seems useless to keep moving forward [...]. From 2:30 pm... [Lire la suite]
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11 janvier 2009

May-June 1915: Henri is searching in vain Aimé's burial place.

Henri rushed up, as soon as he could, from the Loos-en-Gohelle sector, where he had taken an active part to the 9th May attack; he, then, attempted to retrieve any track of his younger brother, unfortunately without success: "[...] I walked along and through all the temporary graveyards, village cimeteries, etc, etc... but I could not find out the tumb of our late beloved. What a real joy would have been mine, to find it, to grant him with a last and final salute, and to place there a bouquet of flowers with a wreath [...]. [...]... [Lire la suite]
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12 janvier 2009

June-July 1915: Henri shares his first photographies with his family

All along this tragical period, Henri attempted to be closer to his beloved through a new medium of expression: taking and sending photography pictures. Photography annotated by Henri Baudiment, Loos-en-Gohelle - October-November 1915: "My flight squadron before take-off". Photography annotated by Henri Baudiment, Loos-en-Gohelle - Octobre-Novembre 1915: "Equipment for night flight". Photography annotated by Henri Baudiment, Loos-en-Gohelle - October-November 1915: "Our ambulancies". His privileges as an Officer were... [Lire la suite]
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13 janvier 2009

26th Juillet 1915, in Liencourt: Henri describes in his letters, his fights in Artois, in May 1915

"[...] Without endangering the defense of the country, I am going to tell you what has been our mission since the 9th May 1915. I will take advantage of some permittence-holder on departure to, take care and post my letter: I hope he will succeed in this duty. Firts of all, I have to tell you that I am currently at full rest: general reserve of the Great Head Quarters (General Joffre). Somewhere between Creil and Beauvais, 40 kms from Paris, I am safe. In the middle of a magnificent countryside, with pleasant inhabitants, we are... [Lire la suite]
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14 janvier 2009

August 1915: the 90th Infantry Regiment on the Somme front

In August 1915, the 90th R.I. held the front line in Lihons (Somme). Photography annotated by Henri Baudiment - August 1915: "Staff of the Company, in an underground shelter, during my stay in the Lihons sector. From left to right: my first second lieutenant, myself, my second second-lieutenant, my sergent-major".
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15 janvier 2009

Summer - Autumn 1915: the letters sent from the front by Henri

In his letters, Henri took every occasion to describe and comment to his beloved, with distance and humor, his daily existence as a buried soldier: "[...] The weather is fair and cool, but the nights start getting longer. Heavy fogs are coming, now, and we are getting cooler and cooler. I have everything I would require to get covered and warm, and my long stay in campaign got me hardened: I switch from the sun to the rain, then from the hail of bullets to quietness without any worry. Having enough to drink, to eat, and to smoke:... [Lire la suite]
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