France / Monument

​​Monument of the 27 August 1944​ shootings




On 27 August 1944, nineteen members of the French Forces of the Interior were executed by German troops in the commune of Fontaine-Notre-Dame. The FFI members were led by Captain Eugène Corette and were participating in an airdrop operation called 'Cantine'.

Operation Cantine was planned to take place ​​during the night of 27 August 1944. The aim of the operation was for the FFI to receive five tonnes of weapons by parachute drop, which was to take place at Méraulieu, about 45 kilometres from Fontaine-Notre-Dame. Ultimately, the planes in charge of the drop did fly over the site, however as they did not see the FFI men waiting at the agreed spot, they did not drop the goods.

​In reality, a German column retreating eastwards in the face of the Allied advance was stationed in the commune of Fontaine-Notre-Dame. Therefore, at around 9:00 pm the first van carrying FFIs was stopped in Fontaine-Notre-Dame. The occupants of the vehicle and two cyclists who were following them were grouped together near a watering hole. Shortly afterwards, a second van carrying fourteen other FFI forced its way through, but a German machine gun fired at it, killing the driver and twelve passengers. One of the men in the van managed to escape.

The passengers in the first van were also shot dead immediately afterwards. Left for dead by the German soldiers, another FFI managed to escape. The bodies of the killed FFI were buried near the place of execution. Two days later, after the departure of the German soldiers, the remains of the Resistance fighters were transferred to the cemeteries of their respective villages. Of the nineteen Resistance fighters, six were from Homblières, eight from Saint-Quentin, two from Rouvroy, two from Fieulaine and one from Hamois.

A memorial was erected to honour the nineteen victims, whose names are inscribed on the monument. Every 28 August, a ceremony is held in the morning in Fontaine-Notre-Dame, in memory of this tragic event.

​​3 Grande Rue​, ​​Fontaine-Notre-Dame​, ​​02322​