Henri Charlier & the Uza “monument aux morts”

On a recent rip to the Landes region of Aquitaine, we came across the village of Uza – a fascinating place with the deserted remnants of an ironworks, dating back to the 16th Century, overlooked by the Chateau des Lur Saluces. The forges were fed by a manmade lake, employed 200 people by the end of the 18th Century but were finally closed in 1981.

Between the lake – L’Etang d’Uza – and the Église Saint-Louis is a beautiful war memorial of carved stone, 1.3m tall. The memorial was erected in 1926 and is the work of Henri Charlier.

In 1915, Charlier volunteered for war service, although he was exempt for reason of health. He was mobilized as a medical orderly. After his military training he was billeted at Épernay where he treated the wounded. There he organized a studio for himself in a spare corner where he could devote himself to painting in his free time. In March 1916, he was transferred to the sixth section of medical orderlies at the hospice of Commercy (in the Meuse region). Charlier was demobilized from the military in March 1919. For more on Charlier, see the Présence des Charlier website which covers the work of both Henri and his brother André, a writer.

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