Berthe Fraser - une heroine a Behagnies
07 December 2022
Obviously, the focus on the area around the Butte is dominated by the battle of the Somme in 1916.
We must not forget however that only 25 years or so later there was another war affecting the area ie World War Two.
The lovely village of Behagnies is only minutes from the Butte by car. Buried in the cemetery at Behagnies is a Second World War resistance heroine Berthe Fraser. The picture shown here is page one of an article concerning her from the local Bapaume Archeology and History group which is a most interesting read.
Born in 1894 Berthe married a British soldier in 1919. Her husband was interned by the Germans not long after their invasion of France with Berthe becoming part of the local resistance group before being arrested in September 1941. The allies ultimately liberated her from prison in September 1944 with Berthe commenting 'Thank you, lads, you were just in time."
After the war, Berthe opened a perfume shop in nearby Arras and was a very active member of La Societe Franco Brittanique which focused on the exchange of students. Berthe died in 1956 with the Imperial War Museum buying her collection of medals in 1990 for £28,500
Bob will be in the area very shortly and will visit the cemetery and pay his respects and at the same time obtain an up-to-date picture of her grave marker which we will add to this article.