Le Neubourg: Alexandre Martin and Romuald Guillemet, who died for France, honored forever

Alexandre Martin and Romuald Guillemet
Romuald Guillemet and Alexandre Martin. ©DR

It hasn’t seen such turmoil in decades, barely disturbed each year by the commemorations of 8 – May and 11 – November. The last time it was modified was after the Algerian war. This means that if the ceremonies scheduled for Saturday January 21, 2023 at monument to the dead of Neubourg (Eure) are of an exceptional nature. It is this symbolic date, one year after his death, that the town has chosen to pay homage to the Sergeant Alexandre Martin, deceased in Mali, in the service of the Army. A ceremony that will also allow the City to fill a gap nearly 40 years old by associating the name of another of its children who died in combat.

“You have to know that this kind of thing is really very codified. With the Army, you don’t do what you want, says Isabelle Vauquelin, the mayor of Neubourg. We spoke with the National Office for Veterans and War Victims of Eure (ONACVG 27) and they immediately told us that nothing could be done if we did not also register the name of Romuald Guillemet . An obligation that had never been applied since the death of this young man in an attack in Beirut, Lebanon, in 1983.

A legal obligation

The law stipulates that the war memorials are the responsibility of the municipalities and that they are responsible for ensuring that all those who are officially considered as “died for France” are mentioned there. More precisely, the law n° 2012-273 of February 28, 2012 specifies in its article 2 that “when the mention “died for France” was entered on his death certificate under the conditions provided for in article L. 488 of the code of military disability pensions and victims of war, the inscription of the name of the deceased on the war memorial of his place of birth or last residence or on a stele placed in the immediate environment of this monument is compulsory “.
On the other hand, this same text does not refer to possible sanctions incurred by the municipalities which would not have respected this legal provision.

Much more recent, the death of Alexandre Martin is still in everyone’s memory. For his mother, Valérie Follin, the tributes which are announced “revive the pains which have remained very present since the tragedy”. But she assures that a part of her is also satisfied to see that her son “is not forgotten”.

A great emotion for the loved ones

Moreover, a large delegation of his regimental colleagues is expected at Neubourg for the ceremony. “I often receive messages from them, there is always a link, appreciates the mother of the chief brigadier. We need that to hold on. »

War memorial - Le Neubourg
On Saturday January 21, soldiers, elected officials, residents and relatives of the two soldiers will meet to pay tribute to them at the war memorial. ©Aurelien Delavaud

Despite the weight of the years, Romuald Guillemet is also remembered. At least in that of Françoise Capelle. This Neubourgeoise, godmother of the paratrooper who fell in Lebanon, is moved by the mere mention of the young man.

So long after, I still have the memory of an adorable, mischievous, but always smiling boy. When I think of him, I think of this picture of him as a little boy. And every time I hear her laugh.

Francoise Capelle

Even if she lost contact with the family, who moved to the south when Romuald was 6 years old, Françoise Capelle remains marked by this tragedy. It is for this reason that she intends to be present for the tribute which will be paid to her on January 21. “His parents are deceased, his brother will not be able to come… Normally, his godfather will be there too, she continues. I find that to be a very good thing. “Without trying to understand why this honor is returned to her so long after, Françoise Capelle just says she is” very grateful “.

Never forget

On Saturday January 21, 2023, the relatives of Alexandre Martin and Romuald Guillemet will be accompanied in this new tribute by the usual audience of elected officials and local officials. If she does not yet know if the families will have the right to speak, Valérie Follin admits that she is not very comfortable with all this attention. “There will be lots of people, we won’t really know what to say… But since it’s to do the honors to Alexandre, if we can say a few words, we’ll talk”, slips the bereaved mother, who should be surrounded by the companion of Alexandre and “about fifteen close supporters during this difficult year”.

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war memorial - Le Neubourg
As the monument is already complete, two plaques bearing the names of Alexandre Martin and Romuald Guillemet will be installed on the base. ©Aurelien Delavaud

Sebastien Lecornu, if present, should take the floor. the Minister of the Armed Forcesformer president of department of Eure, is in any case expected by Isabelle Vauquelin. The mayor, who was able to discuss before the ceremony with the families of two soldiers, said she was satisfied to see her city honoring its duty of memory towards two of its own. Moreover, to recall the purpose of all this agitation to be planned around the war memorial, she uses the same formula as Valérie Follin and Françoise Capelle: “They will not be forgotten. »

The tribute to Chief Brigadier Martin and Sergeant Guillemet will take place on Saturday, January 21. It will begin at 9:30 a.m. with a mass in the Neubourg church, then a procession will walk to the war memorial where an official ceremony will begin at 11 a.m.

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Le Neubourg: Alexandre Martin and Romuald Guillemet, who died for France, honored forever