The two pictures shown in today’s post have been gently provided by my father, who noticed this strange war memorial during one journey in Paray-le-Monial (Burgundy).
Strange because the iconography of this soldier on the top of the monument, with a flag is rather unorthodox. He doesn’t wear the iconic Adrian helmet and his weapon is a sword. Indeed, he’s not a soldier of the Great War: this monument celebrates the 1870-71 franco-prussian war. The idea of such a monument came from local veterans, who wanted to celebrate the memory of the 61 men of the “canton” who were killed during this war. The monument was inaugurated in 1900.
186 men of this little town were killed during the First World War. Instead of building a new monument, it was decided in 1920 to complete the 1870-71 war memorial with a “poilu de la Grande Guerre ramenant au glorieux vaincu de 1870, l’Alsace et la Lorraine libérée“, i.e. a French soldier of the Great War who brings back to the glorious defeated (officer) of 1870 the liberated Alsace and Lorraine. The “restyled” monument was inaugurated in 1923.