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Edouard Gerard

Servicenumber : 2553
Rank : Volontaire de Guerre (Soldier)
Regiment : Independent Belgian Brigade (also known as Brigade Piron)
Unit : 3rd Company
Date of Death : 16-08-1944
Age : 20
Grave : Plot 5. Row A. Grave 12.
Edouard Gerard was born on 17 February 1924 in Dinant. He served with the 3rd Section, 5th Platoon. On 16 August 1944 he died in the Rue André Pierre Marie in Sallenelles, France. He was killed during a German mortar attack. An exploding mortar bomb caused severe wounds to his back and spine. He was the first member of the Brigade Piron that died during battle.
On the website www.brigade-piron.be the aide-de-camp of Colonel Piron, Captain Houbion, is quoted. He said (freely translated from French): 'In January 1942 a young boy arrived at our camp in Spain. He introduced himself and told me he came from Dinant and his name was Edouard Gerard. Soon after I arrived in England I heard Gerard also arrived in London. He told me he wanted to join the Royal Air Force. He was told however to join the Army and he was very disappointed by that.
On 14 August, at about 11 hrs, I went to Sallenelles with Colonel Piron. Gerards platoon were preparing for an attack on German positions at the Moulin du Buisson, between Sallenelles and Franceville. Gerard was proud and happy to join the attack. He was given the task to stay in a ditch, a few metres in front of a house, to cover his platoon when they came back from the attack. A German mortar bomb exploded against the house and shrapnel hit Gerard in his back. He died without a word.'
 Picture: 03-05-2016
Pour La
Ne a dinant
Tombe a l'ennemi
A Sallenelles
Sources: Website CWGC, website https://www.75jaarvrijheid.nl and website http://www.brigade-piron.be


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