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One fine morning in 1836, a well-known and appreciated character of the Abbevillois, a wine merchant, waited impatiently for the passage of the Toulousine, which at that time was the service of letters and travelers from Boulogne to Paris, in order to exchange a few words with His cousin came to say goodbye to him before he went to the commune where his affairs brought him. When the Toulousine set off again as quickly as possible, the poor merchant fell on the road, wishing to go down again, and was inadvertently crushed by the diligence. Thus died at the age of 40, Alexandre Courbet, leaving behind a wife and three children, Alexandre, then aged 21, studying at the major seminary of Issy, Céline, 25 years old became Cornet and Amédée Prosper Anatole at Aged 9 years born on 26 June 1827 at 21 rue de l'Hôtel de Ville in Abbeville.

Madame Courbet died some time afterwards, having barely borne the brutal death of her husband by entrusting the care of the young Amedee to her two elders.
Alexander soon discovered in his younger brother certain assets that would lead him to be "someone".

After a first part of studies undisciplined even catastrophic, Anatole buys a conduct and then becomes studious, laborious and reflects. He obtained his baccalauréat in 1845, moved to Amiens at the institution Spéry, then in Paris to the institution Favart and attended the Lycée Charlemagne. Very brilliant student, he ended up being admitted to the 6th place as sergeant at the Polytechnic school in October 1847.

A few months later, in February 1848, it was the REVOLUTION.

Anatole, then sergeant major, takes command of his comrades. He made the acquaintance of Armand MARRAST, mayor of Paris who proposes to him to come to work with him like secretary.

1849, October: Anatole Courbet enters the navy at 22 years as aspirant 1st class on "The Ocean". Then he passed through the ranks of ship's sign, lieutenant of ship and finally, captain of frigates in 1866.
1870: It leaves to the Antilles on the Talisman
1873: He becomes captain of ship and Chief of Staff of the Admiral of Hornoy
1877: In this capacity, he is at the head of an entire fleet with nine battleships and five cruisers.
1879, May 24: He becomes governor of New Caledonia and disembarks in Nouméa until September 1882. In conflict with the government, he leaves the new Caledonia for Sydney and then returns to France.
1883, April 23: Courbet is sent on a mission to Indochina and embarks on the "Bayard", this famous vessel whose name will be forever attached to his.

On the 26th of May, 1883, he sent a despatch which moved all France, announcing the massacre of many French soldiers and sailors by the black flags.
Courbet then left with his fleet towards Cochinchina then Saigon.

1883, July 16, the French column arrives at Tonkin.
1883, December 26, he was appointed Commander-in-Chief of the Naval Division of Tonkin.
1884, 1st March, appointed Vice Admiral.
He then chained the victories and dropped the black flags.


1884, June 26, GUERRE FRANCE CHINA


600 French soldiers are massacred, Courbet has a noticeon, 3 cruisers, 3 gunboats and 2 torpedo boats. The Chinese have 11 ships, 12 junks and 7 canoes. For more than a month, the French fleet struggled. On 23 August at 11.45 am, Courbet gave the order to weigh anchor in the utmost silence, which rendered the Chinese shots scheduled at 12 o'clock ineffective. On the other hand French shots are adjusted accordingly. THE FLEET IS SAVED
Terrorised, the Chinese flee and ascend the Min River to shelter.

In Abbeville, the news is received with immense fervor and Céline Cornet comes to burn a candle in front of the virgin of the church Saint Vulfran. After this victory, Courbet rose to the rank of Admiral, received the military medal on September 10, 1884 and became a national hero.

It then leaves on the countryside of the Pescadores islands. Unfortunately, the state of health of the country weakens the troops. These exhausted and feverish ones gradually decimate. Out of 1600 men, 400 are ill, 69 die and 80 are evacuated on Saigon.
Anatole Courbet unfortunately did not escape the rule, he began to suffer from the liver, the intestines and the stomach and his health declines from day to day. His devoted doctor, Doctor Doué, closed his eyes on June 11, 1885, aboard the famous Bayard.


The illustrated world devotes an entire issue to him on June 27, 1885

It is also the Bayard who returns to France to bring back the remains of the Admiral, the military honors are given to each stopover, each country crossed. On August 21, the Bayard arrived
at Toulon.

On August 27, the coffin arrived in Paris and the sailors of the Bayard transported him to the Cour d'Honneur des Invalides. His saber is deposited in the marine chapel of the Sacred Heart. His savings are bequeathed according to his will to the Society of Rescue in Sea of ​​the Bay of Somme.
While military honors were taking place in Paris, Abbeville was about to welcome the body of their illustrious child. Everywhere, arches of triumph are erected on the route of the procession and a marble plaque is affixed on his native house.
The bishop of Amiens receives and blesses the precious body on his arrival and it is transported to Saint Vulfran whose nave is covered with hangings, the chapel of Christ became a burning chapel with a black velvet base, the model Of Bayard. The coffin is covered with the uniform of Admiral with all its decorations and surrounded by candles, watched day and night by the priests.

On the eve of the funeral ceremony, the body of the Admiral was taken from the Marché aux Blés, the future square of Admiral Courbet where a huge ardent chapel was erected. During the ceremony, a very long and moving oration was pronounced by the Bishop of Amiens, in the name of France
The funeral procession then resumed to the last residence of the Admiral, cemetery of the Chapel.


His sister Céline, always kindly, commands the sculptor Alexandre Falguière a gigantic monument to the glory of his brother.
It was inaugurated on 17 August 1890.


Creation date : 28/02/2017 23:44
Category : History - Personalities inhabitant of Abbeville
Page read 2589 times


Reactions to this article

Reaction #1 

by Carillon 06/09/2017 22:05

Bonsoir,Le monument de l'Amiral Courbet était installé depuis 1890 sur l'ancienne Place du Marché au blé, devenu Place de l'Amiral Courbet. Savez vous pour quelle raison objective il a été déplacé, suite à une décision du conseil municipal bien entendu, en 1954, alors que les bâtiments de la Place étaient reconstruits autour ?
Merci. AC

     Bonsoir Alain,

La réponse se trouve dans le diaporama consacré à l'évolution de la place du marché aux blés jusqu'à la place Max Lejeune. Le monument a simplement été déplacé pour laisser place à la construction du nouvel hôtel de Ville que l'on connait aujourd'hui, inauguré en juillet 1960. 

Bien à vous


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