By the close of the Great War France had lost nearly 1.4 million dead and just as in Britain across the country every village, town and city was keen to erect a war memorial to those who had died for France.
The memorials vary greatly from lists in a frame on the wall of a church to impressive statues of French Poilu defying the enemy, or a fallen soldier draped in the arms of a woman who weeps for their loss. They are a study in their own right and as we come into the WW1 Centenary it seems France is become more and more aware of its war memorial heritage, which only can be welcomed.
This war memorial in Montmédy, a town north of the battlefield of Verdun and behind the German lines for most of the conflict. In 1914 it was close to the fighting in the Battle of the Frontiers and was finally liberated in November 1918. The war memorial features several friezes depicting Polius at war, including this one entitled ‘Somme Artois’.