On the occasion of the First World War centenary, Mons has joined forces with many towns in Belgium and France which witnessed the Great War to increase awareness and sensitivity towards it.As everyone knows, the First World War was particularly bloody, causing millions of casualties. Mons did not escape the destructive wave of events and, against its will, played host to major and tragic events.
Through commemorative ceremonies, exhibitions and various forms of representation, the Mons region will pay tribute to all those civilians and military men who suffered during these four years.
Mons is at the heart of the First World War commemorations in 2014.
Discover the legend of the Mons Angels and navigate the territories marked by this Great War.
So we never forget...
The “Battle of Mons" therefore receives special attention beyond the Channel: sometimes mythical, sometimes realistic. Mythical on the one hand because the “Legend of the Mons Angels” is extremely famous. Realistic on the other hand because the Brits there suffered many losses including the first and the last fallen soldier.
It was in Mons, in fact, that Private Parr and Private Ellison were killed, forever becoming the first and last British soldiers to have fallen during the conflict, making Mons “The Place of the First & the Last”. In addition, for acts of bravery performed on our soil, Lieutenant Dease V.C. and Private Godley received the first two Victoria Cross awards during the First World War.
These events explain the notoriety of the “Battle of Mons” and demand that everyone observe their duty of remembrance. In 2014, the City of Mons celebrated the Battle’s centenary in the presence of various European authorities. In this respect, the City of Mons wishes to cherish the memory of those who fought for their ideals and whose courage still resonates in hearts and memories.
From legend to reality, Mons offers an authentic memorial journey strongly focused on symbolism. As in the military cemetery of Saint-Symphorien, a true haven of peace, where Commonwealth and German graves are now united for eternity.
- Difference in height
- 230.42 m
- Points of interest
1 Commemorative plaques
2 Place Charles Simonet
3 Commemorative Plaque of Place des Martyrs
4 Mons Memorial Museum
5 Saint Symphorien Military Cemetery
6 Battlefield site of Mont Panisel and Bois-là-haut
7 British and Canadian memorial to the two battles of Mons
8 The municipal cemetery in Mons
9 Obourg station memorial
10 The Pont-Rail (railway bridge)
Under the arch of the railway bridge, a plaque is affixed with the following inscription:
“To the glorious memory of the Officers, NCO and men of the 4th BN Royal Fusiliers who held this sector of the British Front in the defense of the town of Mons. August 23/8/1914. This memorial marks the M.G. position where the first V.C.’s awarded during the war 14-18 were gained by Lt M.J. DEASE and Pte S.F. GODLEY.”
11 Place de Nimy Plaque
12 14-18 Monument
13 The Pont-Route (road bridge)
The 4th Royal Fusiliers defended positions between Nimy road bridge and Mons station, which included four bridges: the road bridge of the park entrance, the drawbridge of lock n° 6, the railway bridge of the Paris-Brussels line and the road bridge of the Chaussée de Bruxelles.
14 Monument to the Dead at Place du Parc
Then go down Place du Parc via rue du Parc. At the traffic lights, continue to the roundabout. Then turn right towards Ghlin – le Grand-Large. Follow the right bank of Canal du Centre as far as Avenue de la Sapinette.
Go past the Grand-Large pool and continue along Quai des Anglais towards Nimy.
Then go down rue des Viaducs on your left.
You’ll arrive near the railway bridge. A plaque is affixed under its arch, bearing an inscription in English.
15 Memorial plaque – Saint Waltrude Collegiate Church of Sainte Waltrude
On 21 February 1926, Bishop de Croÿ reported to the Fabrique Council on a proposal by the British Government to install a commemorative monument in Collegiate Church of Saint Waltrude. Based on the presented documents, the Council definitively adopted the proposal at its meeting of 21 May 1926. A supervisory authority, the Body of Mayors and Aldermen of the City of Mons in turn authorised the placement on 7 June 1926.
The official inauguration took place on 11 November 1926 “inside the church, on the left as you enter the door looking onto Place du Chapitre”. The plaque was later moved to the west entrance of the Collegiate (under the organs) probably between 1951 and 1956 (during works on the interior porches of the Collegiate). It was repositioned in the south transept, where it is found now, on the right as you enter this time.
Exit rue du Chapitre, then go down rue Notre-Dame Débonnaire on your right. Continue straight up to Place du Parc.
- 230 meters of difference in height