Webmatters Title
Webmatters : Lieutenant Henri Millevoye Memorial at Neuville-Saint-Vaast
Rough Map of Area

Lieutenant Henri Millevoye

Location

Neuville-Saint-Vaast is a village 6.5 kilometres north of Arras, a little east of the road from Béthune to Arras (D 937). On arriving at La Targette continue past the first crossroads where you will glimpse the huge French Military Cemetery off to your left. A few hundred metres further along turn right at the next crossroads. It is possible to park a vehicle on the right-hand side. The memorial is to the left of the Flame of Peace.

Continuing straight on will take you into Neuville-Saint-Vaast and on to the Vimy Canadian Memorial.

Two things to note if asking for directions: St Vaast (The patron saint of Arras) is pronounced without the -st so it sounds like vaa. Targette is pronounced Tar-zhette because in French G before E is pronounced as a soft J.

Memorial cross to Lieutenant Henri Millevoye

 

Background

Born on the 1st February 1881 at Hyères in the Var, Millevoye was conscripted into the Classe of 1901 when conscription (at 20 years) was still a village lottery (universal conscription was introduced in 1905).

On 17th September 1915 the 74e Régiment d’Infanterie (RI) was relieved in the front line and returned to billets in and around Ambrines. Here they managed to gain a few days rest (but with the inevitable camp chores) and attend a concert in the château.

On the 22nd September they were bussed back to Ecoivres. Two days later they were required to provide a number of work details in readiness for the coming battle—one of these required four hundred men to help transport explosives to the front.

On the 25th September 1915 the Regiments three battalions took part in the 3rd Battle of Artois as part of the 5e Division d’Infanterie, which had taken Neuville that June. They were formed up in the centre of the village ready to support the 129e RI and the 36e RI who were the first waves of the assault. At 1030 hours they were ordered forward but found that the initial waves of the attack at 1225 hours had not gone to plan and there was confusion in the trenches as the units began to mix.

On the right the II/74e RI in support of the 129e RI managed assist in the capture of the Trenchée du Vert Halo and part of the Trenchée des Anes, On the left the III/74e following the 36e RI reached the Vert Halo—the German front line—and continued for a short distance. In this area Lieutenant Henri Millevoye was killed.

His cross was erected on the site which was in the field about 200 metres off to your right as you leave the village heading towards the Vimy Memorial.

 

The Monument

Around the Torch these two memorials to individuals have been brought in from the fields on the northern side of the village.

Neither was accessible to the public and were only visible to those who knew where to look. Now they have a fitting place to honour the memory of these two young soldiers.

Memorial cross to Lieutenant Henri Millevoye

The inscription states :

For five years Lieutenant Henri Millevoye lay here.
74e Régiment d’Infanterie.
Died for France on the 25th September 1915.

He was re-buried in the family plot in Abbeville’s Cimetière de la Chapelle in 1920.

This is the large communal cemetery which contains an important CWGC Plot. The guardian at the cemetery entrance will be more than pleased to show you the location.

 

Other memorials in the area


Cemeteries