Toulouse. It identifies the artillerymen of the War of 1870 displayed in the Salle des Illustres, in the Capitol
Through Toulouse editorial office
“The exit of the mobile guards of Haute-Garonne from the Place de Belfort, February 18, 1871”: the picture painted by Jean-André Rixens in 1896, hung in the Salle des Illustres du Capitole, is probably Toulouse’s most vivid memory of the 1870 war. An ode to the heroism of these artillerymen who left Toulouse in Belfort (Territory of Belfort) to support their counterparts in Mulhouse (Haut-Rhin).
After long research, Jean-Pierre Mezure, president of the Committee of the French Souvenir of Toulouse-Center and of the 30e section of the Former French Forces in Germany, was able to draw up the protagonists.
375 non-commissioned officers and gunners sent
“Aside from the polytechnician and squadron leader François Fourcheut-Montrond, who commands the two batteries formed in Haute-Garonne, made up of eight officers including an aide-major and 375 non-commissioned officers and gunners, you should know that none of the officers elected to their ranks mastered the command of a unit. We find the lieutenant Georges ancely, jeweler and artist photographer, injured in the arm, the captain Joseph Marriage, retired house marshal, the first war blind man in the City of Toulouse (who heads the first battery), the doctor Charles Bonneau assigned as head of service to the military hospital during the siege or even Captain Louis Blot, a veteran of the Crimean War (who heads the second battery) who parade in front of the German general Udo Von Trescow who receives the surrender ”.
But rather what we thought for a long time, Firmin Pons not included.
Firmin Pons keeps memory alive
This non-commissioned officer who served in the Engineering, in particular at Fort des Barres, one of the seven forts of the citadel, before subsequently leading the private company of Toulouse omnibuses and trams, is nevertheless one of the leading organizers. in memory of Belfort. It is to him that we owe in 1874 the erection of the monument of the Mobile Artillerymen in the cemetery of Terre-Cabade, whose commemorative ritual ceased in 1920.
Georges Ancely is also attached to this brotherhood of arms. Ten years later, in 1884, he took a picture of the survivors of the siege in front of the imposing building nearly five meters high. On the sides of this stocky obelisk perched on a pedestal are inscribed the names of the forts defended by the Haut-Garonnais with the dates of their intervention, during the 103 days of the battle, from November 1870 to February 1871. “The detachment paid a heavy price,” explains Jean-Pierre Mezure. “32 of them whose identities we have found as well as the place and date of their disappearance fell and 21 wounded, including three officers. They are laid to rest in a mass grave in the Mobiles cemetery in Belfort ”.
On Saturday 4 December 2021, a ceremony at the Mobile Artillery monument will take place at 10:30 am followed by a conference “Toulouse victorious in 1870” by MEP Christophe Grudler at the Sénéchal room at 2:15 pm.
Reservations by email by clicking here
Has this article been useful to you? Note that you can follow Actu Toulouse in the Mon Actu space. In one click, after registration, you will find all the news of your favorite cities and brands.