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MEMORIES... Memories.  (1917-2008) (by Maggy Marenne 2004)

In the aftermath of the battle of the bulge - NOVILLE -.

The test was important... the population had been courageous, she remained to rebuild and start a new life...!

The history of the battle of the Ardennes was reported already... It is personal and lived, witness, after the battle...

The liberated region breathed, the last shell fell on January 19 on Bastogne. The German 12.652 side men were off fighting including 6.785 buried at the military cemetery of Recogne-Bastogne. The side Allies 10.733 soldiers and 2,500 civilians, including 782 for the Arrondissement of Bastogne. 11,000 houses and 18 destroyed churches.

The village of Noville to halfway between Bastogne and Houffalize had paid a heavy price and was almost deserted.

I was 27 years old, prefect in seminar of Bastogne, I had already known of painful events. The establishment damaged and occupied by U.S. troops could resume students in January. Mgr Charue, Bishop of Namur came to share the events of the region. The masters that we were without work, were distributed in parishes where the priest was missing. I was sent in Noville, where the parish priest Louis Delvaux was shot. It was Saturday, January 20, 1945.

Noville, small village of 250 inhabitants, forty houses, which destroyed thirty, others uninhabitable, difficult to settle there briefly. I was warned... It was for me the unknown and adventure. I party so cycling, with a small suitcase of equipment. The 10 kms of road plowed rutting of tanks not allowed me the arrival that in the vespree, the days are short in January...

Finding nothing in Noville, I pushed a tip up to Rachamps at Cure Fourny, where I've housed on a mattress on the floor in her kitchen. The next day we were leaving in Vaux-Noville looking for a solution. We stopped in M.Firmin Jagan, brave man, to the leg of wood, widowed, living with her two daughters, Marie and Josephine. . A bit of luck for me: the day before, Ms. Rosière refugee, who occupied a room at home, had left home. I had a table, a bed to stay and work. My meals, I was taking them at Marcelline Louis a few hundred metres.

I was glad of this charming home, everywhere. I could start my mission's pastor. My first approach was to go collect myself at the tomb of the shot, in the small garden behind the House of Mr.Jacoby. Full of emotion, I was reading the names of the Abbot Louis Delvaux (age 45), teacher Auguste Lutgen (age 45), the two brothers François and Félix Deprez (30 to 35 years), Joseph Rosière (35 years), Romain Henquinet (age 43) and Roger Beaujean (age 21)

I began my visits and contacts with what was left of the population. Gradually the evacuees come back. The elderly, the sick are the privileged. I listen to their stories and their suffering. Initially, few children of returnees. Some were evacuated to Bastogne, Vaux-lez-Rosière, Virton...

Parish life reorganizes itself gradually. On Sunday, I'll say the mass in Recogne, the Mr of Hoffsmidt hall, the chapel of F0Y being damaged, then walk through the countryside in along Cobru, I celebrate a second mass at Vaux-Noville. The show is macabre, dead German soldiers await Recogne cemetery, the Americans resumed their elsewhere. Funeral services were many.

The transfer of nine fusi11es bodies were buried in the new cemetery at the beginning of September. The former was located behind the Church. Little wedding, than in the month of August, Marie Defèche and Joseph Lefèvre. A small choir animates the liturgy, catechesis of children was taken over for first communion and profession of faith. I've not known of the church nor the school barracks.

Farmers (Marcourt Lambert, husband of Amélie Jacquemin - Mr Rollus - Herman and many others, are cautious in the work in the fields, saw the danger of the equipment hidden in the countryside.

the first mayor was Mr. Auguste Lecomte.

Mr Rollus, Secretary.

Mr Emile Massen, teacher after Mr Lutgen

Each year, I have the pleasure to meet yet witnesses of the time: the Abbé Pierre Marcourt, Melle Joséphine Defèche and today I am pleased to thank for help Madam Marenne extend his memories.

Abbot Albert BOEUR