Soldier's Room Still a Shrine 96 Years After WWI Death

Parents insisted bedroom be kept as it was for 500 years
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 15, 2014 12:58 PM CDT
Soldier's Room Still a Shrine 96 Years After WWI Death
Bedroom of French soldier who died in WWI remains untouched since he was killed in battle almost a century ago.   (Incredible World)

Hubert Rochereau became a casualty of World War I some 96 years ago, and his mother and father are long gone as well. But one part of the French soldier lives on: his bedroom, which his parents preserved as a shrine to the young man after his death, the Guardian reports. The 21-year-old perished in 1918 while trying to help take control of the Belgian city of Loker, and his grieving parents decided to keep the bedroom just as he left it the day he went off to war. That isn't likely to change, either: To ensure it was never disassembled, Rochereau's parents included an unusual clause in the house's sales contract when they moved in 1935 that mandated the room remain as is for 500 years.

Among the artifacts in the memorial space, as originally shown to La Nouvelle République: the original lace bedspread, a feather-adorned war helmet, a military jacket devoured by moths, his pipes and cigarettes, an assembly of weapons (including pistols and a sword), and a vial of earth labeled "the soil of Flanders on which our dear child fell and which has kept his remains for four years." Rochereau received a slew of posthumous honors, including the French Legion of Honour award, but it's his bedroom that remains the most touching tribute—one the current homeowner plans to maintain. "This clause had no legal basis," he tells La Nouvelle République, adding that he and his wife—who inherited the house from her grandparents—will continue to do as the soldier's parents asked. (This couple found WWI love letters in their attic.)

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