Belgium / Monument
The Emile Cady Monument pays homage to Corporal Emile Cady, who died here on 10 May 1940, during the first invasion of Belgium by German forces during the Second World War. The monument was inaugurated on 4 September 1949 and a boar’s head, the symbol of the Chasseurs Ardennais (Ardennes Hunters), is clearly visible on the facade. It was made at the time by Maurice Nizet, an artist from Bastogne. The monument also underlines the bravery of all the soldiers of this unit who resisted the German troops at the country’s borders during the offensive of May 1940.
Corporal Emile Cady and a few other men from his unit of the Belgian 2nd Chasseurs Ardennais Regiment, were stationed in this small concrete shelter, located around one kilometre from the centre of Bastogne. Their mission was to protect the withdrawal of Belgian troops on the 10 May 1940, the day of the first invasion of Belgium by German forces.
The former commander of the 2nd Chasseurs Ardennais Regiment, Lieutenant-General Florent Merckx, sheds some light on the attack on the defensive position at the gates of Bastogne:
“It was after having fulfilled this perilous mission of protecting the withdrawal to the end that Corporal Cady, evacuating his shelter which had become the target of converging enemy fire, fell mortally wounded. His comrade [Private] Louis Bouillon, who withdrew, already carrying the machine gun on his shoulder, took the wounded man on his back under enemy fire and transported him to the signal block of the railway. Surrounded by Germans, Louis Bouillon was finally forced to leave his corporal and managed to return to his lines, still carrying the machine gun.”
It is estimated that over 500 soldiers of the Chasseurs Ardennais died in battle during the 18 days campaign against the German troops.