2017 marks the 70th anniversary of the construction of the chapel of the Maquis, located along the RN94, between Ver and Herock, on the territory of Fenffe (Ciergnon). This chapel was erected in commemoration of the battles waged there by the men of the Fenffe maquis and to perpetuate the memory of the maquisards who died for the defence of the fatherland.
The 3 September 1944 was an important day for the maquisards of Fenffe. Commanded by their Captain Commandant, the Baron Jacques de Villenfagne de Sorinnes, the maquisards ambushed to intercept a group of SS men charged with arresting the men of the region, aged 15 to 60 years. Determined by their dangerous mission, the resistance fighters, mostly from the region, had been placed in strategic locations to obtain the best result and ensure rapid withdrawal through the woods of the royal domain.
It’s therefore from the entrance to the “Bois des Tailles” to the place of the future chapel, on the road to Dinant-Neufchâteau, between Ver and Herock that the famous fight took place. The Germans losses were impressive: 55 men killed, 2 trucks, 5 cars, a motorcycle out of use and 1 car captured. No loss among the maquisards.
In order not to forget, the maquisards therefore wanted to erect a commemorative chapel at the very place of the battle. For 70 years, every first Saturday in September, a religious and patriotic ceremony has been held on the spot to remember the fight against the enemy for our freedom. During the inauguration of the chapel, on Sunday September 10, 1947, Captain Commandant Jacques de Villenfagne said: “In this stubborn fight, fifty-five Germans were left behind. All my soldiers got out. Also, after this commitment, we ALL promised an unforgettable recognition to Notre Dame du Maquis by building a chapel for her. This promise is fulfilled today. A single maquisard did not return. Adolphe Gilson de Houyet, seriously injured during the execution of an obstruction mission, will succumb to his wounds on September 16 at the Namur hospital.