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A 96-year-old Shrine to a Soldier Who Never Came Home
October 26, 2014

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World War I

The soldier isn't coming home, but his bedroom is still ready for him.

Hubert Rochereau, a French soldier, died on the World War I battlefields of Flanders, when he was 21. His parents kept his bedroom the way it was when he left. It still looks the same.

Rochereau, born in the manor house in 1896, died at the battle of Loker, on April 26, 1918. Since that time, the owners of the French manor house in Belabre, where Rochereau and his parents once lived, have kept up their end of the bargain, fulfilling the terms of the 1936 contract of owning the house by maintaining the young soldier's bedroom intact.

Among the personal possessions on display are the young dragoon officer's uniform jacket, now in relative tatters; his helmet and sword; a pair of knives; a large collection books; and a number of photographs (black and white, of course) showing people and places frozen in time.

One hundred years after Rochereau's death, the current owner of the house has maintained the tradition. In fact, the contract states that the room must be maintained for 500 years.

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