Gazetteer of the Western Front: Troyon


The location of the site of Troyon is .
Lat: 49° 26′ 09″ N
Lon: 3° 40′ 34″ E

Troyon is in the Departement of the Aisne, on the southern slope of the Chemin des Dames ridge and north of the River Aisne. It lies just off the D967 road as it climbs up from Vendresse to the crossroads at Cerny-en-Laonnois. It is shown on this map as Troyon Farm, for that is just about all that remains of what was once a small but thriving village of four farms and about 30 cottages.


Troyon came be in the fighting area when the British Expeditionary Force advanced in the wake of the German withdrawal from the Marne in September 1914. The Germans took full advantage of the defensive qualities of the Chemin des Dames ridge, which commands extensive southward views towards the Aisne, and dug in. The BEF (principally the 1st Division) made numerous attempts to reach the Chemin des Dames at Cerny-en-Laonnois. Troyon was used as a shelter and starting point for these actions.

A plan of Troyon as it was before the war came (plus some French army additions of command posts and defensive works from after the BEF had left) (thanks to Croonaert at the Great War Forum for this and the following image)

Troyon – still standing but very badly damaged – at a point during the war, almost certainly 1914-15.

In this and over the subsequent years when this sector was occupied by the French Armies (with the Germans still up on the ridge), Troyon was shelled to pieces. It was never rebuilt and only vestiges of it remain today.

Standing in what was Troyon, looking up the track that runs up to the Vendresse-Cerny road. The gap in the bushes on the left, and the grassy path than runs through it, is the site of the dotted path (bottom left) on the pre-war plan above.

Nothing remains of the church except for some lumps of brick and stonework in the ground. Its graveyard (above) was reconstructed to some extent. 28 British soldiers had been buried here during the Battle of the Aisne but their graves destroyed by shellfire. They are now commemorated at Vendresse British Cemetery.


Troyon is a quiet, evocative and rather beautiful place to visit today, with excellent views across towards Vendresse and the woods of Paissy.

See more places in the Gazetteer of the Western Front