Reims in 1915, bombed and defended. Relics of the “martyr cathedral”.

Reims 1915

Precious set from René Thorel (1877-1916), captain of the 347th Infantry Regiment, 24th Company, fell in the field of honour on 8 June 1916 in Fleury-sous-Thiaumont (Verdun). Journalist, columnist, author of tales, he is one of the 560 writers who died for France whose name is engraved on one of the panels of the nave of the Pantheon.                                                                                                                        

Relics of Reims Cathedral    

  • A fragment of molten lead, from the roof of Reims Cathedral. With provenance paper (Huart : warden of the cathedral). Length : 16 cm
  • A stone fragment of the cathedral picked up by Thorel on 10 septembre 1915.
  • ●● 18 fragments of stained glass windows from Reims Cathedral, of the bombing of Saint-Rémy on 19 septembre 1915, given to Captain Thorel on 31 Octobre 1915 by M. Huart, warden of the cathedral.
  • With a lebel bayonet made by the soldier Blard, of the car convoys [cannons?], paper cutter made with the aluminium of the Zeppelin LZ77 shot at Revigny, fell in Brabant-le-Roy on 21 February 1916. Length : 6,5 cm.


With his moving personal album : on 347th Infantry Regiment in Reims bombed (1915). 98 card-sized photographs, most captioned, presenting the life of the regiment, various manoeuvres and views of the trenches, cathedral and city bombed. Oblong album (20 x 24 cm) green cloth. Precious testimony.

René Thorel evokes the martyrdom of the cathedral in these dated lines of Reims, 29 January 1915: “The stone lace of centuries past has become so light, so light, that it seems that a breath would finish demolishing what remains of the Cathedral where Jehanne the Pucelle had her king crowned ! The stones are burned, the flames of the famous night of bombing (19 septembre 1914) licked the holy statues and, among the headless and armless bodies, a Christ yet remained in the Cross. […] The roof of the Cathedral is burned and, admittedly, the disaster is complete. Despite all, the crime was not consumed in its entirety, because the high towers still stand in the blue sky, victorious. The stones, all singed, are made even more beautiful by the sacrilege committed. They always talk about the Past and will tell future generations what it was. ” (René Thorel, Souvenirs de guerre, Paris, L. Fournier, 1918, pp. 67-68).

Unique set.

3 000 €