Some “Then and Now” images from the Battle of the Marne 1914

Not British Army but I though these may be of interest to readers. The “now” photos are from a battlefield trip I made in 2012.

The joint village of Chauconin-Neufmontiers lies to the north west of Meaux, east of Paris.

The two villages are close to each other but were once separate communities.

Chauconin

A common postcard showing a burned down farm in Chauconin. At the bottom of this lane is the Eglise Saint-Saturnin church.

 

The farm was rebuilt but the old church looks to be in much the same state of repair!

 

A view from a slightly different spot. French artillery passing the church. Image by Agence Meurisse / Gallica.

 

This image, thanks to Google Maps, reveals little change since 1914 although the buildings on the right have been developed to replace the burned farm.

Neufmontiers

A photograph from the USA Library of Congress collection. Postcard versions of this photograph can be found, captioned “Wounded Germans prisoners at Chauconin-Neufmontiers”.


The photograph was taken outside the Eglise Saint-Barthélémy church on Place de la Mairie. During the battle, the church was used as a medical station, with the altar said to have been used as an operating table. In the interior are many pencil and scratched messages on the walls, written by French troops. They are now preserved under glass.

A commonly seen postcard view of a French artillery unit passing the same church.


Thanks to Google Maps we can almost stand on the photographer’s position but he or she appears to have been standing on the grass on our left. The centre of the village seems largely unaltered since 1914.

A wider view of the church thanks to Google Maps. Chauconin-Neufmontiers is a small place but well worth a visit, and not only for the many sites of great historic interest for the Battle of the Marne.

Links

The Battle of the Marne 1914