War 1940 - 1945
The beginning of May 1940 saw the lamentable procession of evacuees. Many mountain dwellers left their homes and took the road to France, from Thursday 16, the French scouts arrived in Montignies, the large column of soldiers burst in on Friday 17 and it was the looting of its unoccupied houses. The few inhabitants who remained on the spot find as their main occupation the milking of cattle wandering in the meadows, then it is the return with the sad observation of the ransacked house.
Life resumes for 5 years in the long wait for the end of hostilities, the hope of the landing and the deliverance of the enemy organizes the resistance.
Three English paratroopers find refuge in the locality, at the Château de la Marquette, at "brigolet" (Maurice Vos) and at the cave, at Gustave Strebelle.
The secret army goes into the campaign, in the living room of Masnuy St.Jean. At Jeanne du Sewoir, a group was formed under the orders of Brison de Nimy. They include Charles Roger, Jean Bonge, Maurice Viart and Armand Desirait, the man of the missions. Discovered, they come to take refuge at the farm in the park, at the mayor's, then settle in Quesniau, at Ramir Bonge's, with their galena post. To group G, from Cambron St Vincent are connected Jules Godeau, Gustave Vos and Roger Demoor, José Berte de Nimy refractory to Antoine Vandepol (welcome) will find death in Cambron alongside Jules Godeau, note also the presence of about twenty Jews, refugees in the town, and all this, to the glory of the inhabitants, remained in the deepest secret!
At bay, the Germans wanted to make an arrow of all wood. One fine day, they attacked the brass of our bell towers, the big bell of the church of Montignies, weighing 900 kg was removed on Thursday, October 14, 1943. It was called "charlotte-benoite", its dimensions were ; Diameter: 1m20, Height: 1m.
The founder was called Lombard de Montignies-sur-roc. It bore the following inscription:
"The year 1806 was named Charlotte-Benoite, by Charles Paillot, owner in Montignies, mayor and godfather, and by Benoite Catier, widow of Bruno Paternotre, owner of the marsh farm, godmother. »
Its decoration consisted of a festoon under the inscription, Christ on the cross with Magdalene at his feet on one side, and on the other side, a Virgin with the child Jesus in her arms (height 20 cm),
It was replaced on November 11, 1948 and consecrated by Mgr Lagae (missionary bishop in residence at Zoute with the Dominican fathers), the founder is Michiels de Tournai, its weight remained 900 kg. It cost 78,600 frs. It bears the inscription 'In luctis plangens, in festis jubilans, vox tua duccis, marcella'.
From the Normandy landings (June 6, 1944) and especially the liberation of Paris (August 19-25, 1944), the Belgian population, informed of the course of events by the BBC, counted on an imminent end to the occupation.
Indeed, the Allied armored vanguards arrived at the border on September 2, 1944. From 2 p.m., Tournai was liberated by British and American elements, on September 3 it was Mons' turn. In a sustained rush of about ten days, the British and Americans liberated the national territory without too much damage, the first progressing more in Flanders and the second more in Wallonia.
As for Montignies, it will actually be crossed by the liberators on September 4, 1944.
Some photos below taken (photos taken at the corner of rue de la place / Rue Basse).