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Webmatters : Sous-Lieutenant Henry Nouette-d'Andrezel Memorial at Neuville-Saint-Vaast
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Sous-Lieutenant Henry Nouette-d'Andrezel

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 Sous-Lieutenant Henry Nouette-d'Andrezel

 

Background

Born on the 10th September 1894 at Toulon in the Var, Henry Nouètte-d’Andrezel was conscripted in 1914 when he was entered into the “La Grande Revanche” Promotion at the Ecole Spéciale Militaire de Saint-Cyr.

The selection boards for this intake would normally have taken place just as war broke out. All candidates were instantly accepted but sent to units as ordinary soldiers for four months. On the 5th December 1914 they were promoted to the rank of Sous-Lieutenant. Henry was attached to the 36e RI as a Section commander. French intakes (Promotions) are given names in this case the phantom 99th Promotion of 1914 was subsequently named in 1915—The Great Revenge.

On 17th September 1915 the 36e Régiment d’Infanterie (RI) was relieved in the front line and returned to billets in and around Izel-lez-Hameau and Villers Sir Simon. Here they underwent a number of training exercises before being returned to the front on 22nd September.

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. The regiment (of three battalions) Had two in the front line and the other as reserve. They were positioned on the left flank of the 5e DI at the northern end of the village of Neuville attacking towards La Folie Farm on the far side of the current autoroute.

Although the French artillery had been in constant action the front line officers reported that the German wire was hardly touched and that the Trenchée du Vert Halo, their first objective, seemed to have been untouched.

At 1225 hours the first waves left their trenches and were all but instantly cut down by machine gun fire. For five hours the French hung on until the German firing began to slacken off. The French charged again and this time made progress. They pressed on, with the support of their 1st Battalion which had come up from reserve, and gained the German second line the Trenchée des Déserteurs which is just short of the back road from Vimy to the Canadian Memorial.

German counter attacks were thrown back and the French dug in. Two days of fighting cost the regiment 1,100 killed and wounded including a high count of officers (11 killed and 32 wounded).

 

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 Sous-Lieutenant Henry Nouette-d'Andrezel

The inscription states :

Here in this place Lieutenant Henry Nouètte-d’Andrezel fell for France on the 25th September 1915. 36e Régiment d’Infanterie. Pray for him.

 

Other memorials in the area


Cemeteries