After Hubert Rochereau lost his life fighting for his country during WWI, his devastated parents kept his bedroom exactly the same as the last time he had been in it.
Rochereau, a French second lieutenant, lost his life nearly 100 years ago in Belgium on April 26, 1918, when he was just 21 years old.
Although the bedroom, located in a house in Belabre, France, is full of dust and moth eaten fabric, it still contains the possessions and memories of a young hero who lost his life much too early. Among the featured memorabilia in the room are uniforms, trophies, books and photographs.
When Rochereau’s parents sold the house, they included a clause in the deed that the room is not to be disturbed for 500 years. The current owner, 72 year old Daniel Fabre, has honored this request, even though the clause is not one that can be enforced by law. Fabre came to own the house when his wife, who had inherited it, passed away ten years ago.
The room that had belonged to Rochereau is dusty and small but well kept, and features a number of military collectibles, including a wooden desk filled with bric a brac, a pistol, a tin of tobacco, and a pipe. On the neatly made bed, Rochereau’s academy cap and metals sit on a lace bedspread. On the wall hangs a picture of Rouchereau dressed in his academy uniform.
All of these items represent the life of a young man who lost his life in a field hospital in Britain after being wounded by the Germans while fighting for his country.
Hanging on the bedroom walls are military weapons, including bayonets and swords. Fabre indicates one of them and explains that he thinks that it was used by a German during the war. He’s not sure about the history of the others.
Fabre admits that he does not feel sentimental towards the room, but does feel respect. He has no intention of seeking publicity for the items founds inside it.
He is not interested in offering the room for view by historians or tourists, and will not be providing entry to the public. He does not want journalists to take outside pictures of his home or the surrounding area, the Yahoo News reports.
When asked what is likely to happen to the room when he passes, Fabre suggests that his daughters may maintain it but they will probably eventually sell the house. All he can really commit to is what will happen to the room while he is still around, but admits that getting rid of these historic items would be a shame.
Other locations within the village also offer memorials to the fallen officer, including his gravestone and the monument for war heros in the center of the village.
Laurent Laroche, the mayor of the village, admits that although the bedroom is a piece of history, it’s also a family oriented memorial. Nine million of those who served in the war died, and this is a way for one to be remembered.
Laroche believes that Rouchereau’s parents would be very happy knowing that memories of their son are still being honored nearly a century later.