The members of the USUE search group "Honor and Memory" returned from France. After the "Memory Vigil" in Kursk, the students took part in the first international search expedition in the footsteps of the First World War.
The idea of creating such an expedition originated from the French historian Pierre Malinowski and was supported by the Russian Military and Historical Society and President Vladimir Putin.
Near the town of Courcy, the members of the USUE search group Victoria Spiridonova and Taras Marchenko spent ten days on the battlefield Russian Expeditionary Corps, where, according to historians, died about 6000 Russian soldiers. During this time, from the heavy ground, the expedition members raised personal belongings of soldiers and officers of three armies. Among the findings, there were an unopened bottle of 100-year-old wine, glass mugs, buckles, and even Christmas-tree toys. And what’s the main, they found the remains of a Russian soldier, who a century ago laid down his life for the freedom of France.
"When we arrived at the site of excavations in France, we saw that instead of a soft fertile soil, where vineyards grow, we faced a heavy calcareous soil, which we had only to pickax or cut with a sapper spade. However, in such a ground, metal things are better preserved. The searchers found a lot of grenades and projectiles, barbed wire, which we then called with a French word "barbelé". Other findings are a German buckle and French rifle," Taras Marchenko told us about the expedition.
Victoria Spiridonova also shared her impressions: "We were very warmly welcomed by Pierre Malinowski. Working under his guidance for me is a great honor and invaluable experience. Our excavations interested the residents of the nearest villages and towns. Besides, we were visited by descendants of Russian soldiers who fought here, in the Expeditionary Corps. Apart from excavations, we were at the reception in the town hall, where we were told about the preparation of the projects for the monument to our soldiers, which now is in the commune of Courcy. Our expedition laid flowers at the feet of the monument to a Russian soldier with a French girl in his arms."