Stelae filled with soil from the Battle of the Marne during the Great War will be sent to Morocco in homage to the fighters of the Moroccan brigade.
A ceremony took place on Tuesday at the construction training center of Ocquerre de Meaux, in the Ile-de-France region, during which the choice of four works filled with “the Sacred Land” of this battle was carried out. decisive which made it possible to push back, in September 1914, the invasion of France by the Germans.
This ceremony was attended by the Consul General of the Kingdom in Orly, Nada Bakkali Hassani, representatives of local authorities, officials of the Ocquerre apprenticeship training center, representatives of the Departmental Military Delegation of Seine et Marne, of deputies and civil and military personalities.
It was also marked by the awarding of the Armées-jeunesse prize won by the young apprentices who participated in this project supported by the association of friends of the museum of the Great War of Meaux, the Jacques Braquert museum in Villeroy. and the association of Veterans of Barcy and Notre-Dame de la Marne.
The Moroccan Brigade distinguished itself in the Marne offensive, intended to push back the German troops. In August 1914, the Moroccan tirailleurs, after 400 km of walking, coming from the region of Taza, took the first train at Taourirt station to go to Oujda. From there, they join the Algerian city of Oran by train before boarding a boat to cross the Mediterranean Sea to Sète.
On September 5, 1914, while the Allied armies fell back, the German armies bent their march on Paris bypassing the capital to the east. Integrated into the 6th French Army of General Maunoury, the Moroccan Brigade is engaged in the north of the Seine et Marne to stop the advance. Between 2:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m., in front of Neufmontiers, the two regiments of the Moroccan Brigade attacked the flanks of the Bois du Télégraphe hill. While climbing the slopes of the objective, the Moroccan skirmishers were caught by intense enemy fire: 9 officers were killed and 18 wounded. 1,150 men are killed, wounded or missing.
The retreat of the Moroccan Brigade is covered by the 276th Infantry Regiment of Coulommiers which also suffers heavy losses.
“It is a work of memory and a tribute to the brave fighters of the Moroccan brigade who fell in the field of honor during the First World War”, affirmed Nouria Zendafou-Rezeg, president of the Mémoire France Maroc association, at the initiative of this project.
“For a long time, the colonial troops including the Moroccan fighters were forgotten by this memory. However, over the past ten years, fortunately, we have seen events emerge here and there to repair this oversight and to pay tribute to these men who came from far away.“, She underlined during the ceremony of departure of the four works.
According to the president of the AMFM, “This new memorial and unifying adventure in homage to these men, was sublimated thanks to all these young apprentices who got involved while at the same time calling on their values, their know-how and their creativity to perpetuate the memory of the Moroccan Brigade and colonial troops ”.
“In some time, these works containing the earth trod by these Moroccan fighters will leave for Morocco. What more could you ask for to continue to transmit the history of these men, both here in France and over there in Morocco, in particular through which they passed. This adventure has a soul and I am sure that it will go a long way in time thanks to these young people who already tell it differently.“, She congratulated herself.
In Morocco, the four works chosen will be placed in symbolic places from which the Moroccan soldiers left, in particular in Taourirt and Oujda. In France, a structure will be installed next to the Notre Dame de la Marne monument, in Barcy, in the Île-de-France region.