First World War: from Mons to Cambrai, an "angel" to guide you

Affiche "La Grande Guerre : Corps, armes et paix"War and peace: impossible to talk about one without talking about the other. Especially at the Mundaneum, as its co-founder, Henri La Fontaine, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1913, on the eve of the conflict. Today the Mundaneum together with the future Mons Memorial Museum and the Tourism Offices of Mons, Cambrai and Caudrésis – Catésis, take part in the European interregional project « The Great War – Man, Arms and Peace ».

Nowadays, any significant commemoration is supported by digital technologies. Early August, an application will launch to invite the visitor to 6 multimedia circuits: 3 in Belgium, 3 in France. These circuits will be centered on some forty points of interest, marked by displays retracing the important local events of the First World War: the battles of Mons (23 August 1914), Cateau (26 August 1914), Cambrai (1917) and the “last 100 days” (the German retreat in 1918).

In Mons, a first circuit will be devoted to the « Angels of Mons » who, according to the legend, appeared in the sky to help the British. Another will remember « the First and the Last » soldiers from the Commonwealth who fell during the Great War and now rest in the cemetery of Saint-Symphorien. The last circuit, « In time of war », will revolve around the daily lives of civilians, including a few remarkable destinies such as those of the founders of the Mundaneum.

The app can be “embedded”: once downloaded no need for a connection to follow the circuits from one point of interest to the next. There a short film will introduce the place before an audio commentary by an “angel” and the people it met: a veteran coming back in the 1930’s to the place where he fought, a young girl asking tons of questions, or even Henri La Fontaine himself.

Films and commentaries will incite the visitor to look at the traces from the past around them, but also to learn more about that period of history. « Man, Arms and Peace » will also give access to selected archives from the partners: letters from troops and civilians, poems by Wilfred Owen and photographs from Cambrai; archives about the pacifist commitment of Paul Otlet and Henri La Fontaine from the Mundaneum. More than 1500 texts and pictures from our archives centre!

The app will be available in 4 languages (FR-NL-EN-DE) and will also provide all the information needed for a visit, from the choice of circuits to cultural and accommodation possibilities in the region. A website, also under construction, will launch this autumn with, among others, videos by our colleague Patrick Tombelle. And for those who do not possess a mobile device, brochures with a map will be available in the Tourism Offices both sides of the border.


The website and application « The Great War – Man, Arms and Peace » benefited from the Interreg IV A program.
Available on GooglePlay and iTunes.