War Heritage Institute

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The Battle of Namur – Champion, Belgian military cemetery

The Battle of Namur: a quite intense name for the five days of combat in August 1914. When attacking Liège the Germans were very surprised by the Belgian resistance. They needed a few “Grosse Bertha” guns to turn the tide in their favour. The Germans would not make the same mistake twice.

In Namur, they used heavy artillery and by 20 August 1914 the forts were reduced to silence. Light artillery was deployed against the forts in between the fortified positions and after a few days of heavy bombing the assault was launched. The Belgian troops only had one option: abandon the positions and retreat in the direction of the French border.

Countless casualties were left behind on the battlefield and only received a decent burial after the Armistice, in the military cemetery of Champion.

Defence recently cleaned up the premises. Trees whose roots threatened to damage the graves were felled; borders, fences and paths were repaired or reinstated.

The cemetery is now once again in good reparative order. Be sure to come and visit this somewhat forgotten battlefield.