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Showing posts from January, 2015

Delvert's men - training the recruits

'Here are the first group of arrivals at the gate, led by Corporal Bougonneau, whose dress was precisely according to regulation; he had been especially careful because he was representing the French Army, and more particularly the regiment, before this mob of civilian recruits. At a signal from the sergeant of the guard, Bourgonneau bawled out at the top of his voice, as if he was commanding the whole regiment, "Halt!"'
In depots all over the country, similar events were taking place every October as groups of new recruits reported to their regiments. Once entered on the regiment's books, the quartermaster, 'surrounded by a pile of képis, judged the hat size of each man at a glance, and after a token attempt at a fitting, got for every man a worn, but clean, cap.' Every man then reported to their barrack-room, where their new bed, complete with straw mattress, awaited.
Recruits were placed in a mixed platoon with serving soldiers, 'who, under the vigi…

Delvert's men - recruits for the 101st

The previous posts described the process of calling men up into the Army. What kind of men were obtained for the 101st in this way? Where did they come from, and what did they do for a living before they joined up? I took a sample of 248 men from the names of those killed whilst serving with the regiment. Of these, some came from départements whose registres matricules have not yet been digitized, so information on them is limited, but basic information on their place and date of birth is also contained on the Mémoires des Hommes site. Errors in transcription, making some records unfindable, have also reduced the size of the sample.