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Remembered Today:

the youngest French casualty in ww1


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I don't know if a there was a thread about the youngest French casualty on the GWF, so...

Desiré Bianco was born in Italy and his parents have just moved to Marseille in France. Watching the ships in the port of Marseille loading soldiers for the Dardanelles campaign Desiré wanted to join them. To young to serve, he managed to take on board illegally in march 1915 and was found later when the ship was already at sea. He was incorporated in the 8th French Colonial Mixt regiment (later the 58th RIC), became the mascot of the regiment and landed with them in the Gallipoli peninsula on the 6th may 1915, for the second battle of Krithia.

On the 8th of may, his regiment was launching an attack against the "haricot redoudt": in the French trench just before the assault his officier , the Lieutenant Asquier, took Desiré's rifle and bayonet. Asquier gave his sword to the young man and imposed him to stay in the trench with the sword.

A short time later, Desiré was seen running and charging in the no man's land holding the lieutenant's sword: "En avant, à la baïonnette !"

He was immediatly hit by two bullets, and his last words were: "Maman, Maman, Maman..."

His body has never been identified or recovered.


In a trench nearby the "haricot" redoudt, where Desiré Bianco was killed


his official death record...

Desiré Bianco

58th Colonial Infantery regiment

dead for France: 8th May 1915, Harciot redoudt, Turkey

date of birth: 4th April 1902, Caraglio, Italy

He was 13 years and 1 month old...

he might be buried in one of the 4 mass garves in the French cemetery at Seddul-bahr ?


A French flag laid for him and all his comrades fell at Seddul-bahr



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Fascinating! Thanks for posting that, Sly. I'd never heard of Desiré Bianco before. As far as I knew, the youngest French soldier to die was Corentin Carré and he was 17 when he died. He's buried in the French cemetery at Rembercourt-aux-Pots in the Meuse department of France.


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