News and Events–Over There: Rededication of the Lafayette Escadrille Memorial, Marnes-la-Coquette (near Paris), Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Background We forget today just what an impact World War One had on the lives of its participants and their families.  Even before the United States officially entered the war, hundreds of Americans flocked to Europe; mostly volunteering to fight on the Allied side.  Those volunteers who signed up with the French ended up in the French Foreign Legion, the American Field Service (Ambulance Corps) and the French Air Service.  Those who joined the Aéronautique Militaire were technically in the “Escadrille Lafayette,” a single squadron consisting of American pilots with Continue reading → Continue reading →

News and Events–Over There: 33rd Militaria Show, Les Islettes, Sunday 21 August, 2016

  The 33rd annual militaria show will be held at Les Islettes on Sunday, 21 August, 2016.  Location is the Salle de la SIBA and the entrance price is 2 Euros.  The show is open from 0800 to 1700 hours.   This is a major militaria show in Europe; and it attracts exhibitors and attendees from many countries.  It is well worth a visit, if readers happen to be touring the Meuse-Argonne in late August.  Be warned that parking can be a bit tight.   The webmaster Continue reading →

Travel Tips: New Luxury Hotel, Les Jardins du Mess, in Verdun now Taking Reservations

Readers Stefan Schweitzer and Christina Holstein report that Verdun’s new luxury hotel, Les Jardins du Mess, is now accepting reservations.  The hotel’s Facebook page advertises the property as a hotel, restaurant, bar, spa and arboretum (parc arboré).  A quick look at the website,, and the room prices suggests that this will be a luxury hotel in the heart of Verdun.  As a reminder, the building was the former French officers’ quarters, situated right along the Meuse River.  Travelers looking for luxury reservations in the heart of Verdun should Continue reading →

News & Events–Over There: Historical Performance, “The Butte of Vauquois,” in early October, 2015

French historical association Les Amis de Vauquois, together with the Connaissance de la Meuse, is preparing a historical performance that will bring the Butte of Vauquois during 1915, to life.  The performance will include readings of diaries of both French and German participants, and paintings and soundscapes of the battle. Dates of the performance are Friday and Saturday 2-3 October and 9-10 October.  The performance begins at 8:00pm.     Ticket and reservation details can be seen in the above brochure.  Please note that reservations are Continue reading →

News & Events–Over There: Construction at the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery to Affect Parking and Access to Visitor Center

The American Battle Monuments Commission announced this month that renovations to the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery Visitor Center will begin on 9 September.  This will impact parking and access to the visitor center.  However, the cemetery will remain open with normal operating hours; and access to the plot areas, the memorial building and the chapel will not be affected. Work is expected to be completed in late 2016–just before the Centennial Celebration of America’s involvement in the war. Continue reading →

News and Events–Over There: Brocante (Flea Market) at Cierges-sous-Montfaucon, Saturday, 22 August

The village of Cierges-sous-Montfaucon will be hosting a flea market on Saturday, 22 August.  Generally speaking, the many local French flea markets can also offer interesting finds such as rifle barrels as well as other rusty bits and uniforms. Readers who are going to be in the area that day, should consider popping in. There is no charge to attend.  It will run from 1200 to 2200 hours; with a DJ later in the evening. A link to the information can be found here:  

News and Events–Over There: 32nd Militaria Show, Les Islettes, Sunday, 23 August

The 32nd annual Militaria show will be held at Les Islettes on Sunday, 23 August.  Location is the Salle de la SIBA and the entrance price is 2 Euros.  The show is open from 0800 to 1700 hours. This is a major militaria show in Europe; and it attracts exhibitors and attendees from many, many countries.  So, if readers happen to be in the area on that day, it is well worth a visit.  Parking can be a bit tight. The webmaster had the opportunity to attend Continue reading →

News & Events–Over There: Famous Verdun Hotel Le Coq Hardi and Restaurant Chantaco Close

The Meuse edition of the French newspaper L’Est Républicain reported that the famed hotel and its restaurant closed on 2 April after the Commercial Court in Bar-le-Duc put the restaurant into receivership.  Apparently, under French law the business has been operating in receivership since 18 December, 2012.  The owners could find no buyer / investor to save the business. Continue reading →

Sainsbury’s Christmas Truce Ad: 2014

The webmaster generally does not comment on topics outside of the Meuse-Argonne, but U.K. grocery chain Sainsbury’s created a wonderfully moving Christmas Truce Ad  and issued a bar of Belgian chocolate in a period wrapper; with profits from the sale of the chocolate bars going to the Royal British Legion, the U.K.’s leading armed forces charity. Continue reading →