Maurice Louis Marfaing


Between 1906 and 1940

Topic: Genealogy

Born in Pamiers in 1906 from Eugénie Quentin and François Marfaing, he loved sport and in his youth has been part of many clubs: gymnastics, rugby, music. After a period of apprenticeship with a plasterer, he did at age 20, like all young French at the time, his militaire service.

Photo probably taken in Belfort. His rank was “Maréchal-des-logis”.

He served in the horse-drawn artillery and sent at Mainz (Mayence in French) because at the time (1926), the French occupied the Rhine west bank after the 1918 victory. He enjoyed this life that allowed for a lot of physical activity, including horsemanship. After his service, he enrolled in the regular army and was garrisoned in Belfort.

This is he met Anne-Marie Madeleine Martin, which became her spouse. They had three children, first Yvette, born in Belfort in 1936. Then Janine, born in Chaumont the following year. Janine had a malformation and the medical knowledge of the time could not identify exactly what she had. She died in Oran (Algeria, where Maurice had been transferred) seven months later.

Photo taken in Oran, Algeria, around 1939. His rank was “adjudant”.

In September 1939, the war was declared and Maurice’s regiment was sent to the Belgian border. During the first few months, nothing happened and he asked his wife, which had stayed in Oran, to move back to France, at Pamiers where Maurice grew up. Their son Jacques was born there in 1940. Maurice did not immediately take his leave to see his son. It was so calm that he thought he could wait until the baptism where he would celebrate the birth of his son with  his family and old friends.

But then the Germans attacked! Through the Ardennes, around the Maginot Line, through neutral Belgium. Maurice was made captive. But he managed to escape, but on his way back to France, he found a French infantry regiment, and went to battle again with them. He fought, with a weapon found on a dead body, as infantryman although he was from the artillery. He was made prisoner a second time and was killed on September 20th.

Photo taken at Le Quesnoy, probably in 1940. His rank was then “Adjudant-chef”

His wife and mother learned his death long after. We don’t know exactly what happened; he likely tried to escape again, but met his tragic fate during the attempt.

Although his participation to the “Phoney War” has been brief, he was awarded the “médaille militaire” with mention, and the “Croix de guerre” with a star. And a conference room, at the regiment’s base, was named after him: the “Salle Adjudant-chef Marfaing”.

He never saw his newborn son.

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