Every year Wallonia commemorates the three great conflicts that were fought on its soil:
Napoleon’s final defeat by the British and Prussian forces at Waterloo in 1815; the gruelling trench warfare on the Western Front in World War 1, and the desperate German counter-attack in the Ardennes in the winter of 1944/45 that hastened the end of World War 2 in Europe.
Commemorative walks, exhibitions and re-enactments ensure that these events will never be forgotten.
In April, the contribution of the Australian and New Zealand troops in WW1 is celebrated on Anzac Day in Plugstreet.
Two days before Waterloo, Napoleon won his final battle at Ligny, and the townsfolk turn the clock back every June to re-enact the battle and the atmosphere of the period. This is followed by a major annual commemoration on the Waterloo battlefield site, where there are stunning presentations of that momentous day.
Mons puts on three annual events reflecting its pivotal role in both World Wars. The first British engagement of WW1 took place there in 1914, and the heroism of the outnumbered expeditionary force is honoured every August. The following month, a cavalcade of military vehicles from WW2 rumbles through the town centre in the spectacular Tanks in Town parade, and the liberation of Mons in September 1945 is the theme of further celebrations every November.
Finally the Ardennes town of Bastogne pays tribute to the American commander who said “Nuts” to the Germans when they suggested his force should surrender. The Nuts in Bastogne ceremony is held every December at the town hall.
- Our common heritage. Land of Memory | An exhibition in Bastogne© Verhulst and FriendsFrom 04 March to 16 May 2021Bastogne
Our common heritage. Land of Memory | An exhibition in Bastogne
- Weekend activities at Fort Saint-Héribert in Wépion | Memorial and Nature walks© Fondation privée Emile LegrosFrom 08 to 09 May 2021Namur
Weekend activities at Fort Saint-Héribert in Wépion | Memorial and Nature walks
- Bastogne International caricature and press illustrations festival© PixabayMay 2021Bastogne
Bastogne International caricature and press illustrations festival
- European March of Memory and Friendship (MESA)© WBT - J.P. RemyJune 2021Marche-En-Famenne
European March of Memory and Friendship (MESA)
- Tanks In Mons: annual WWII celebrations in Mons© A. HDFAugust 2021Ghlin
Tanks In Mons: annual WWII celebrations in Mons
- Militaria | Ciney's military fair© Greg Montani / PixabayApril 2022Ciney
Militaria | Ciney's military fair