Friday, 4 November 2011

"Slow thro' the church-way path we saw him borne"

Jean de Narde (December 2011)
© Godric Godricson

Jean de Narde is an interesting story of a French Napoleonic prisoner of war who was shot trying to escape in East Dereham in 1799. His monument was placed there by the Vicar of East Dereham in 1858 and this event is recorded in the diary of the Vicar now online.

A Norfolk Diary.

Feb. 17 1858. Today another cross was set up in the churchyard, the inscription under which will speak for itself.  'In memory of Jean de Narde, son of a Notary Public of St. Malo. A French prisoner of war, who, having escaped from the Bell tower of this church, was pursued and shot by a soldier. October 6th, 1799, aged 28 years.”

The obverse of the memorial reads.

"This memorial of his untimely fate has been erected by the Vicar and two friends who accompanied him on a visit to Paris as a tribute to that brave  and generous nation once our foes but now our allies and bretheren. Ainsi soit il. 1857"

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