This metal cockerel is thought to have decorated the top of the belltower in the village of Fleury. We know what it looked like thanks to a pencil sketch done on 23 May 1915 by Henri Cattoën. The sketch was given to the Memorial Museum (2014.33.1.1) by Monique Malarik.
Nine villages were destroyed across the battlefield – Beaumont, Bezonvaux, Cumières, Douaumont, Fleury, Haumont, Louvemont, Ornes and Vaux. The 3,000 villagers had fled before February 1916. A few of the items here illustrate prewar life. The martyred villages have retained their municipal status and eight of them are run by municipal committees responsible for keeping their memories alive. A chapel has been built on land belonging to each of them. The administrative status of these villages that “Died for France” is now unique in France. The Mémorial de Verdun lies within the boundaries of the village of Fleury-devant-Douaumont.
Dimensions: 51 x 9 x 66 cm (L x w x h)
Acquisition: Comité National du Souvenir de Verdun
Inventory No.: 2010.0.1880
Locating the item in the museum