Monday, October 27, 2014

Preserving the Past

I happened to see this touching article last week & thought it worth sharing. 

A young French solider died in World War 1. His heartbroken parents left the room of their only son just as he had left it. When the house was sold they put a clause in the deed that requested that the room remain the same for 500 years.

Although, in fact the clause has no legal bearing the two preceding owners honored the wishes of the grieving parents, leaving the room just as it was. Today, almost one hundred years later, the room remains as the young French war hero left it. Second Lieutenant Hubert Rochereau  died in battle in Belgium in April 1918 & was posthumously awarded the Legion of Honor for his bravery.  

Photos from The Huffington Post

Not only does the preservation of this room shed a light on a moment in history but it speaks to the power of a parents love as well as the heartbreak of war.

I can't imagine this touching but somewhat bizarre tribute happening anywhere but in France, so I am sharing it with Paulita's meme Dreaming of France.


  1. It is a terrible thing to outlive your children.
    I would not wish it on anyone, the pain is too great.
    But 500 years! Yes, very strange.

  2. I just heard this same story Sally- the pictures are not what I had husband and I were saying it must be a big enough house to keep the room that way- I heard the current owner said he tried one of the English cigarettes left and they weren't very good ;)
    What a story!

  3. This is an unbelievable story-and you are right this would not happen anywhere but in France.

  4. Sally, I hadn't seen this story, but you're right. It speaks of such deep love. I guess any of us would want to hold onto that moment when we still had hope for our child. Thanks for sharing. Sorry I'm so late commenting. I'm teaching double shifts on Mondays now, and in between, I had to go pick up Grace so we could get her to the doctor. She's been so sick. Mono -- so nothing grave, but I always thought of it as a sleeping thing, not a fever, back and neck pain thing.

  5. This is so beautiful. Indeed, the French have such connection to WWI. Did you see the articles in yesterday's NYTimes? (Sundays, I guess.) This story is so very touching. I wasn't aware -- thank you for sharing it.

  6. Gosh, that's something, isn't it? Amazing that the previous owners were willing to live with a museum room. And how wonderful for history buffs everywhere. :D