December 20, 2011

Statue: Lille A Ses Fusilles

During La Grande Guerre (the “Great” War, aka the WWI), Lille was under German occupation. Some Lillois stayed loyal to the French Republic and started a resistance movement.

Unfortunately for the individuals who made up the resistance group called comité Jacquet, the German soldiers discovered them and had them executed. The same was true for Léon Trulin, an 18-year-old student, who was caught while attempting to pass on intelligence to England.

In order to honor these brave men who died for their country, France dedicated the monument entitled Lille À Ses Fusilles to them in 1929.

Lille à ses Fusilles. The five men represented are (from right to left): George Maertens, Eugène Deconynck, Sylvère Verhulst, Eugène Jacquet, and Léon Trulin.

The four men who are awaiting execution are the members of comité Jacquet. None of them are looking at the executioner, denying the German authority until the very end.

The man who is already shot and lying on the floor is Léon Trulin. All five were sculpted after numerous discussions with their friends and family in order to get their faces right.

But the story of this statue does not end there.

During La Seconde Guerre Mondiale (WWII), the Germans once again occupied Lille. Upon seeing the monument to those who defied them the first time around, they took at it with pickaxes until it was destroyed.

France didn’t let the statue die with the German occupation, however, and set about rebuilding it. In 1960, the new, identical monument was reinstalled and is still around today.

Check it out:
Square Daubenton
Lille 59800


  1. a beautiful monument, albeit a little dark with Trulin shot and slumped over. i love reading all the stories about Lille's history!

  2. Very informative post. Thanks so much for sharing the history of Lille.


  3. chickster: I'm glad you enjoy them!

    Kris: You're welcome :)


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