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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

"Le cimetière des fous"at Cadillac


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At Cadillac in Gironde was a jail-hospital, specialised in treatments of severe mental illnesses. The hospital receved a certain number of French soldiers and also some nurses who suffered from shell shock. In 1920 the hospital bought a ground next to it to bury the patients who deceased at the hospital. Over the years about 900 patients were buried there, of whom 98 were WW1 soldiers or nurses. The cemetery was still used until 2000 and then was classified Historical Monument.



the hospital at Cadillac



The "cimetière des fous" next to the hospital


Out of the 98 WW1 patients some of them could not be identified. It's possible to imagine that some of them may had lost their equipement-uniform-etc... during a bombardment and then for some reason couldn't be identified later: they were certainly the most severe cases in the hospital: patients unable to speak, to move or to express anything.


The last of these "unkown patients" has died in 1978. He spent more than 60 years of his life in the hospital and nobody knew who he was.



the grave of the last WW1 unknown patient


Of course this is far away from the battlefields but a very special place to visit. I can't find the word in English to describe it.


Considering the number of soldiers who suffered from Shell Shock in so many countries I guess that there are other similar places or stories like Cadillac. Does anyone know about a similar cemetery or grave ? 






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Thank you for sharing this.  It is, as you say, a tragic story.

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4 hours ago, Sly said:

Does anyone know about a similar cemetery or grave ? 




Hello Sly...


I do actually, yes. The "cimetière des fous" at L’asile d’aliènes d’Evreux which has/had similar graves and stories to yours. The final resting place of a soldier who I was researching some time back (see THIS THREAD ), the cemetery was under threat last time I looked, so I'm not sure whether it still even exists now :(...





l’asile d’aliènes d’Evreux cemetery.jpg

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Sly, that is a very sad place, how terrible that the last Soldier to die was never known to his family.


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