Frankreich / Friedhof

Monuments to t​he victims of the liberation battles




​​On 2 September 1944, a group of FFI (French Interior Forces) attacked a retreating German column in the hamlet of Vert-Galant in Wambrechies. One day later, they attacked a German vehicle. Today, two commemorative plaques in Wambrechies and Quesnoy-sur-Deûle honour the memory of the nineteen men who were killed in action.​

On 2 September 1944, around 19:30pm, a German column retreating towards Belgium arrived from Verlinghem at the hamlet of Vert-Galant in Wambrechies. Some FFI Resistance fighters, who had come in cars and were armed with rifles, hid in a field and in a farm in the hamlet. They shot at two German motorcyclists who were riding at the head of the column, not knowing that other soldiers were coming behind. One of the two remained on the spot, probably wounded, while the other turned back to warn the rest of the column. The column, made up of vehicles and men on foot, stopped in front of the farm and opened fire on the building.

In a neighbouring farmhouse on Rue d'Ypres, a family of nine had hidden in their cellar after hearing the shots. A German soldier threw a grenade into the cellar, which miraculously did not explode. He then shot at the family. One of the women was killed instantly, the others were wounded.

The exchange of fire resulted in eleven victims on the FFI side. In addition, four FFI were arrested. Three were executed in the nearby commune of Quesnoy-sur-Deûle and their bodies were thrown into the canal. The fourth managed to escape by diving into the Deûle canal.

The next day around 15:00pm, a new FFI attack was launched nearby, at the crossroads of La Croix in Verlinghem. A group of Resistance fighters attacked a German vehicle armed with a gun. In retaliation, the German soldiers threw a grenade at the Resistance fighters, which set fire to a nearby barn. The Germans used the gun to fire at the FFI. Five men were killed, bringing the number of resistance fighters who died during the fighting for the liberation of Verlinghem and Wambrechies to nineteen.

Today, a plaque located at 1 Rue de la Résistance in Wambrechies and another at 11 Rue de Lille in Quesnoy-sur-Deûle, pay tribute to them.

​​1, Rue de la Résistance​, ​​59118, Wambrechies