Iconic Objects

Orders in the trenches

When communication lines were cut, runners or messengers risked their lives to carry messages to the battlefield. This hastily scribbled document was an alert in which the allusion to a “Mr. de Coupigny” indicated that a serious threat was imminent, probably a German attack.

Technical details

Wording: “Mr. [illegible] to Mr. Coupigny / Been informed of a mastodon raid. Take all necessary measures / 25 March 1916 0020 hours”
Material: paper
Dimensions: 15 x 10 cm (L x w)
Acquisition: Comité National du Souvenir de Verdun
Inventory No.: 2014.0.434.4

Locating the item in the museum

Ground floor.

This note is displayed on the ground floor in the section entitled, “Communicating at all costs”. This was one of the main features of life on the front line.