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Bondues (Municipality, Nord, France)

Last modified: 2017-05-31 by ivan sache
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[Flag of Bondues]

Flag of Bondues - Image by Arnaud Leroy, 6 January 2006

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Presentation of Bondues

The municipality of Bondues (10,674 inhabitants in 1999) is located 5 km north of Lille and 15 km south of the border with Belgium (Halluin - Menen).
The soil in the region is very clayey and it rains quite often. In 1315, the heavy knights commanded by King of France Louis X le Hutin (1314-1316), waging war against the Flemings, got bogged down in the mud near Bondues. The King's army was therefore nicknamed l'Ost boueux (the muddy army). In ancient French, the ost (host, 1050; ost, c. 1080; from Latin hostis, enemy and by extension enemy army, army) was the compulsory military service due to the suzereign by his vassals. The word ost is used today when as an archaic form, often in a satiric way, and in crosswords puzzle ("medieval army").
The castle of Vert Bois (lit., Green Wood) belonged in 1389 to the De Heule family. It belongs today to the descendants of the industrial Albert Prouvost.

After the 1870 war, it was decided to modernize the defense system of France, especially near the borders. A belt of 12 fortresses was designed around the town of Lille by General Séré de Rivières. The forts were built on the main axes of communication in order to prevent the access to Lille. Fort Lobau, located on the municipal territory of Bondues, controls the main road to Belgium (Lille-Menen). The fort is a 240 x 150 m trapeze surrounded by a 8-m wide ditch; it is partially buried. It could house 750 men, store 15 tons of ammunition and be served by 40 cannons. The building started in 1875 and was completed ten years later.
The fort of Bondues was used as a training camp by the 43th Line Regiment from 1894 to 1899. It was occupied by the Germans from 13 October 1914 to 17 October 1918. In June 1940, it was used by the German army to store ammunition and as the mess for the officers of the airfield set up in Bondues. From March 1943 to May 1944, 68 members of the anti-German Resistance were shot in the ditch of the fort. The Germans dynamited the fort on 1 September 1944. After the liberation of Bondues on 3 September, numbered graves and the two execution stakes were found. The list of the executed people was found on a German officer captured during the liberation of the town.
Fort Lobau was decommissionned by the Army in 1962 and purchased by the municipality. A Resistance memorial was inaugurated in June 1965. The revamping of the fort started in 1979. The association Souvenir de la Résistance et des Fusillés du Fort de Bondues was created in May 1986. In September 1986, the Cour Sacrée (Sacred Yard) was inaugurated in the presence of Marie-Madeleine Fourcade (d. 1989), the head of the Resistance network Alliance, and of Maurice Schumann (1911-1998), the radio speaker of Free France. The Cour Sacrée is a place used for commemorations and patriotidc celebrations.

Source: Municipal website

Ivan Sache, 6 January 2006

Flag of Bondues

The flag of Bondues is green with a stylized daisy in the upper right corner, the name of the municipality in white Italic letters and a thin horizontal yellow line near the bottom of the flag. The flag is hoisted in front of the city hall, as can be seen on the municipal website.

Pascal Vagnat &, Ivan Sache, 6 January 2006