A century after the outbreak of the first world war, the duty of remembrance is still a stirring subject everywhere in Europe, and especially in Belgium and France, hard hit during the “Great War”. To understand the history and especially to share it with the new generations, the cross-border project “Man, Arms and Peace” offers an innovative interpretation taking full advantage of digital technology.

Mons and Cambrai, privileged witness of history

The regions of Mons and Cambrai were the scenes of tragic events during the First World War that still find traces in poignant stories and striking archives. Mons, Le Cateau, Cambrai, the Hundred Days Offensive are all battles that deeply scarred these territories. Beyond the dates and numbers hide memories, stories and testimonies that illustrate the reality of war, its suffering and injustices. In order to not forget, in these times of commemoration, many initiatives enhance the heritage from the conflict. Interpretive signs have been placed in the historic sites to explain and support visitors. They are an ideal supplement to the tablets available on loan at the Mons Tourism House, which offers an application dedicated to this topic.

The duty of remembrance in the digital age

With this application, you will discover a significant quantity of digital archives. Historical photographs, press clippings and manuscripts are all elements that make it possible to understand the event, while discovering the wartime territories and the life of the populations. The application lets you follow the soldiers and civilians through 6 circuits commented with sound and video. The relevance of the information and the humanity of the sequences will undoubtedly affect you. The Legend of the Angels of Mons, The First & The Last, In Time of War, The Battle of Le Cateau, The Battle of Cambrai, the One Hundred Days Offensive are made realistic and traced to walk in the footsteps of History. Geolocation makes preparing for your travels easy by listing places to sleep and eat near points of interest.

The MMM, a new museum space

To go even further, the Mons Memorial Museum is both a museum, a place for reflection and a space for questioning, open to visitors of all ages. Its permanent and temporary exhibits let you wonder about the complex realities of war, while immersing visitors in the daily life of soldiers and civilians. The objects, letters and interview notebooks are emotional testimonies that raise awareness among the public. The singular history of Mons during the two world wars is widely covered. It is a necessary visit, before visiting the Military Cemetery of Saint-Symphorien, located 6 km from Mons.

The “Great War: Man, Arms and Peace” application, available on AppStore:

and Google Play: 

There is also an online version: http://mons.cirkwi.com