27 August, 2011

27 August, 1944

No letter today. Just this:


[Be sure to Click to enlarge]
Château de Mémorant
"Battalion Command Post - South of Paris
August 1944"

Postcard of Château de Mémorant in Perthes,
signed by the then-owner Huguette Marcou

Front of the above signed postcard shows the layout behind the chateau

Aerial view of Chateau Memorant today
shows the same layout

Postcard of the Farm Drawbridge built in the 1300's

The Route of the Question Mark

(A) Les Fretis to (B) Perthes (85 miles)
25 to 27 August 1944

August 27... Perthes. We set ourselves up in the grounds of a chateau, a handsome cream and white affair. Paris had just been liberated and some of the drivers managed to get there. We spent a horrible night while the Nazi bombers tried to hit the bridge over the Seine at Melun.

[Note: From the chateau to the bridge at Melun is approximately 6 miles]


about the Château de Mémorant

The construction of the original chateau, in the early twelfth century, was to form a parallelogram whose angles were protected by towers. The lord of Château de Mémorant was Jean de Mémorant, a nephew of Pierre de Sens. The next inhabitant was Thomas de Pisan, counselor, physician and astrologer to King Charles V. A rare female figure in French literature in the Middle Ages, Christine de Pisan, Thomas's daughter, arrived in France in 1368 at the age of 26. When she was widowed with three children, she moved into Château de Mémorant to live with her father from 1390 to 1392. It was during this period of mourning for her husband that she wrote most of her poems, including one of her most famous ballads, expressing loneliness and torment.

On November 14, 1392, Philippe de Maizières, Knight of Cyprus and counselor of Charles V, bought Château de Mémorant from Christine de Pisan. On May 9, 1393, he donated it to the Celestine Monks of Paris. On August 15, 1539, Perthes and the Château de Mémorant were destroyed by the soldiers of Charles le Mauvais, the head of Navarre. The two main mills were also razed.

The chateau was rebuilt in 1857 and only a few parts of the ancient castle remain today - some sections of walls and turrets, including the farm drawbridge shown in the postcard, above.


  1. It has been a fantastic surprise to find your site. My mother was a cleaning lady in the late sixties and we lived in the Farm of Mémorant for 8 years. I remember perfectly the Château but I don't remember the owners as I was a child. I has been impressive reading about the liberation of Paris and about the bridge of Melun, I went to school there for 8 years.
    Thanks for taking me back to my childhood.