Thursday, March 25, 2010

Qui est cette - Who is this?

Here is a one of the few family photos that I have from my grandmother Marguerite.

She was French and her family name was Chevallier. She grew up with her mother and sister in the village of Graffigny-Chemin, near Bourmont. Her father died when she was still young. She married my grandfather shortly after the First World War and left Graffigny. Her mother lived in Graffigny until her death.

Who is this? What are the medals? Can someone determine the unit he was from and rank?

Qui est le soldat sur la photo?

Ma grand-mère était française. Le nom de famille était Chevallier. Elle a habité à Graffigny-Chemin, près de Bourmont, France. Je crois que son père est mort avant la Première Guerre mondiale. Ma grand-mère Marguerite a épousé mon grand-père, un officier américain, après la guerre. Mon arrière grand-mère a vivre dans Graffigny jusqu'à sa mort.


  1. George says (dit):

    309ème Régiment d'Infanterie

    En 1914 ; Casernement : Chaumont 142e Brigade d’Infanterie; 71e Division d’Infanterie; 21e Région; 4e Groupe de réserve défense mobile de la place d’Epinal

    Constitution en 1914 : 2 bataillons À la 71e DI d’août 1914 à juin 1916

    1914 Vosges : col du Bonhomme (20-26 août) défense d’Epinal (sept.) Rambervillers, Baccarat, secteur de la Chapelotte

    1915 Vosges (tout 1915) (parcours de la 71e DI) : Badonviller, La Chapelotte, ferme du Chamois

    1916 Vosges (jan.-juin) Verdun (juin-juil.) : bois Fumin, sud de Damloup puis Avocourt (juil.-déc.)

    1917 Charny, Maison de Champagne, Four de Paris
    Régiment dissout en juin 1916 ; les soldats rejoignent les 217e et 221e RI pour former leur 3e bataillon.


  3. I'll take a shot at a couple of the medals. The one on the far left with the 2 stars is the "Croix de Guerre" or "Cross of the Military Valor".

    Since there are 2 stars (and I can't tell if they are silver or bronze) I would venture he earned one of each for recognition at the brigade and division levels. It is for gallantry.

    To the right of that I believe is the "Medaille du Moric" or "Morocco Medal of 1909". Instituted 22nd July 1909 for award to military (and some civilian) personnel who had taken part in the pacification of the French Colony of Morocco. This is a best guess as this medal was light in color.

    I belive the next is the version of the victory medal for all WWI combatants. The "coin" part of the medal matches, but I'm not sure of the ribbon.

    The one on the far right is The Commemorative Medal of the War of 1914 - 1918 or Medaille Commemorative de la Guerre de 1914 - 1918
    Instituted 23rd June 1920 for award to all military personnel with service during the Great War.

    He definitely served in WWI. Paul may have some old letters Mom used to write to cousins in France. I remember there were some. I don't know what happened to these and they could answer a lot of questions.