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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

'Last Absolution of the Munsters'


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Some time ago while browsing the Internet for information about the location of the ‘Shrine’ depicted in Matania’s, I found on the web site ww1.battlefields.co.uk the attached photo which I am is using with permission of the web site owner.

The history of the Munster Fusiliers by Capt. Stouppe McCance, describes it as a ‘shrine enclosing a crucifix’. Ever since finding the photo I have been curious, could this be the crucifix from the shrine. If you look at the photo, there is evidence of stone blocks lying around it, suggesting to me anyway that it was mounted in a structure.

The photo caption on the web site reads as follows –

“It was the Portuguese soldiers (during the Battle of the Lys in 1918) who took the "Christ of the Trenches" into their positions with them. The figure is now in Portugal commemorating Portugal's Unknown Soldier.”

Did the Portuguese find the crucifix lying on the ground near the location of the shrine, it is known that with the ebb and flow of battles in the area, the original shrine depicted in Matania’s painting was destroyed.

A case for debate would you say !.


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