- Museum & discovery
The Battle of the Ardennes Museum in La Roche-en-Ardenne is fully dedicated to the history of the Second World War. Its collection also aims to ensure that Britain’s participation in the battle never gets overlooked.
A real treasure
The privately-run Battle of the Ardennes Museum is the brainchild of Michel Bouillon and his son Gilles. What started off as a modest hobby collecting artifacts relating to the battle just grew and grew; in the end, the two men had accumulated so many objects that in 1993 they decided to open a museum. This too has grown dramatically so that it now covers 1,500 square meters spread over three floors and features a wide-ranging collection of weapons and uniforms and more than 20 military vehicles. There are also photographs and other more personal objects found on the battleground. Perhaps the most interesting part of the museum is the Veteran’s Room displaying uniforms and memorabilia donated to the museum by ex-servicemen, often after visiting the museum themselves.
British soldiers too
Although always principally associated with the Americans, British servicemen made a major contribution in liberating La Roche and other villages on the left bank of the Ourthe in early January 1945. Under the command of Field Marshall Bernard Montgomery, 200 British troops were killed with another 1,400 wounded or missing.
This museum is the only one dedicated to the Battle of the Bulge to have a British section. Among the collections can be seen Lieutenant-Colonel Cathhaert's combat jacket. This commanding officer led the 7th Battalion of the Black Watch (51st Highland Division), which troops freed La-Roche-en-Ardenne on January 11, 1944.
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