18 décembre 2008

The Baudiment family before the War

Henri was born in Algeria, the eldest of six, from the encounter in Constantine, of Boniface, a gendarme, born in the French region of Berry, and Marie-Anne Robert, born ten years after in the region of Auvergne. Photography of the family in Kouba, around 1895 - Starting from the left, sitting on the front rank: Jean-Baptiste (1st), Euphrasie (3rd), Charlotte, my grand mother (6th); sitting on the 2nd rank: Marie-Anne (3rd; upon her knees: Augustine); standing: Boniface (3rd from the left). Having grown up amongst a strong and... [Lire la suite]
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19 décembre 2008

The Declaration of War

When the War broke out, ... ... Henri was serving as a Warrant Officer, in the 90th Infantry Regiment, in Châteauroux (Indre). On the very day following his eighteenth birthday, on the 28th July 1899, he volonteered and got enlisted as a simple private, into this professionnal regiment, quartered very nearby his father's birth-place. He had married, on the 5th September 1908, Angèle Trochard, two years older than himself, and the daughter of a late Paris jeweller. ... Jean-Baptiste was belonging, on his side, to the 1st... [Lire la suite]
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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21 janvier 2009

Winter 1915-1916: the letters from Henri to Jean-Baptiste

In spite of the rigours of the front, Henri was paying much attention to Jean-Baptiste'health: "Baptiste got a new extension. Let him take the best advantage of it!" [Letter dated 7th Avril 1915] "What is Baptiste currently doing? He does not write anymore! Let him tell me about his episodes in the quarter, how is he managing with the skiver?" [Letter dated End of October 1915] "Baptiste should take time to write me. What is he doing? Soon, he will get some military details". [Letter dated 17th January 1916] "Since I have to... [Lire la suite]
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26 janvier 2009

On the 22nd April 1916, too: the wedding of Jean-Baptiste, in Algiers...

On this very day, Saturday 22nd April 1916, almost in the mean time, Jean-Baptiste had been marrying Henriette Dupuy de la Grand'Rive, in Algiers...
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27 janvier 2009

The end of the War, for Jean-Baptiste

Jean-Baptiste never recovered a normal health, and so, never returned back to fighting: Official ceremony at the 1st Zouaves Regiment, at the "Champ de Manoeuvres" (training area), in Algiers, beginning of 1915: Jean-Baptiste Baudiment carries the Regiment flag. By an official decision of the General Commanding the Algiers Division, dated 23rd Décember 1917, he was seconded to the Head Quarters of the French Troops in North Africa, to be employed by the Regional Inspection of the Deferments in Algiers.
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28 janvier 2009

The mourning of the family

Then came the long mourning, heavy to bear, for the parents, for the remaining brother, for the sisters. Family mourning which was not even interrupted by the sound of the bugle, on the Armistice Day, the 11th November 1918. Family photography, Spring 1916, in Algiers - From Left to Right: Fernand, Euphrasie holds his daughter Yvette in her arms; on the tree: Marc (in white) and the cousin Robert Merle (future famous French novel writer) ; under the tree: Jean-Baptiste and Henriette holding his arm; in the rear: Marie-Anne; Eugénie... [Lire la suite]
29 janvier 2009

On the 28th January, 1922: the death of Jean-Baptiste

Jean-Baptiste struggled bravely to overcome his wounds, but, at last, weakened by them, he was blown away on the 28th January 1922, by a blight which murdered many more than this "Great War": the Spanish Flu. His father Boniface, undermined by the sorrow, had himself, been swept away by the virus, two weeks before.
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