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Webmatters : 34e Division Monument at Gavrelle
Rough Map of Area

34e Division d'Infanterie

Location

The village of Gavrelle can be easily reached from Arras by taking the N50 towards Douai. The village is about 11 kilometres from Arras and coming from that direction you will pass the Scottish cairn on your right at Point du jour, before reaching the Gavrelle slip road a few minutes later.

Drive past the Anchor Monument to the 63rd (RN) Division into the village.

The monument to the 34e Division forms part of the village war memorial on the green next to the church.

There is plenty of parking space and a café within 100 metres. It is quite possible to visit all of the memorials in the village on foot.

Gavrelle Church

 

Background

The 34e Division was primarily made up of regiments from the south-west of France and took part in the Battle for Neuville St Vaast and Vimy on the 9th May 1915.

The city of Toulouse (in the south of France) paid for the reconstruction of Gavrelle after the war and the monument which was inaugurated on the 29th May 1927 is a mark of appreciation from the village.

 

The Memorial

Sainte Germaine de Toulouse

The memorial to the 34e Division forms part of the village war memorial on which are inscribed the names of seventeen soldiers from the village and two civilians. There are a further nine names from the 2nd World War.

On the rear is a plaque to the 23e Régiment de Dragons who have a monument on the edge of the village behind the café. This commemorates an action on the 2nd October 1914 whilst the French were trying to block the German encirclement of Arras. The monument is but a five minute walk away.

The bas-relief on the monument shows Saint Germaine the patron saint of Toulouse in honour of the town’s marraine or sponsor.

The word marraine is usually used in the sense of a god-mother at a baptism, but during the war girls (of a suitable age of course) were encouraged to write to a soldier as a pen-pal, becoming his marraine de guerre.

 

The other memorials in Gavrelle