French military cemetery
French military cemetery in Bitola (Bitola Cimetière Militaire Français, Француски воени гробишта во Битола) were raised by the French state in memory and tribute to fallen French soldiers during the First World War in the area of the city of Bitola (Monastir) on the Macedonian Front.
- Don’t miss > Memorial Museum – French military cemetery – Bitola (Memorial de Bitola)…
- Dobro Pole – WW1 location on Macedonian – Greek border
French military cemetery in Bitola is the largest of its kind in the Republic of Macedonia. The idea for its creation comes immediately after the war and in France. Central Committee was formed in Paris which was obliged to organize and implement the collection of the remains of French soldiers and establishing military cemetery location for the area where the French army acted.
Special difficulty was the process of finding and identifying the remains of those killed.
Especially valuable was the information of the local population, and the precise French military documentation.
In practice, the collection of remains was conducted as follows: first the local population was questioned about locations of graves of French soldiers, and then the remains were excavated and the soldiers were identified.
The remains were collected in bags, specially impregnated for that purpose. They were placed in separate wooden boxes and moved into prepared graves in the cemetery alley, located north-east of Bitola in the so-called Novaci road.
In the memorial cemetery above every grave was placed a metal cross with French tricolor, with an embossed cross and basic data of the soldier: Name, a number of the unit, place of birth and when he was killed.
Above the graves of the Muslim soldiers (mobilized from colonial countries of France), an Islamic religious symbol – was placed as a marking of the grave.
Today the memorial French military cemetery in Bitola is resting place for 6128 identified and more than 7000 unidentified remains of French soldiers.
The ceremony of the official opening of the cemetery was held September 15, 1923. It was a reminder of the day and month when in 1917 on the locality Dobro Pole began the offensive in which the French and other Allied forces broke through the line on the Macedonian front and rout the armies of the Central Powers.