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World The First World War battlefield that time forgot in Champagne, France

During World War I many French villages were destroyed, some never to be reconstructed because they were heavily damaged or because the nearby fields contain unexploded munitions, mines, explosives and artillery shells.  French WWI soldier Edouard Marius Ivaldi died for France in one of these villages on April 30, 1917. After the war, his father Jean-Joseph searched for the remains of his son and started the grieving process. In 1919 he placed a wood cross on the spot where his son fell in combat in Champagne, eastern France, then in 1924 he placed a plaque with his son's name in the chapel of the Navarin Ossuary. Almost 100 years later, this place of private memory, its location unknown to visitors, has remained untouched over time.

The rusty French army helmet and a plaque are seen on the French WWI soldier Edouard Marius Ivaldi's battlefield grave memorial, a wooden cross in Champagne, eastern France.

Charles Platiau/Reuters

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French WWI soldier Edouard Marius Ivaldi poses in this 1917 picture. The soldier died for France on April 30, 1917.

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A plaque hangs over the cross of the battlefield grave memorial of World War I French soldier Edouard Marius Ivaldi in Champagne, eastern France.

Charles Platiau/Reuters

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The ruins of the 13th century church of St. Remi at Hurlus, sit atop a small mound, near Reims, France.

Charles Platiau/Reuters

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WWI barbed wire is seen near the Navarin monument, a pyramid inaugurated at Sommepy-Tahure in 1924 to pay tribute to World War I soldiers killed in Champagne, eastern France.

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A rusty French flask hangs on a tree to indicate the way to the battlefield grave memorial of French WWI soldier Edouard Marius Ivaldi in Champagne, eastern France.

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Family grave of Jean-Joseph Ivaldi, his wife Marie and their son Julien at Pavillons sous Bois, near Paris, France.

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The signature of French WWI soldier Edouard Marius Ivaldi is seen on a hand-written letter he sent to his family on October 17, 1915 .

Charles Platiau/Reuters

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General view of church ruins at Mesnil les Hurlus, a former village of 97 people now included in the Camp de Suippes, near Reims, France.

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French WWI soldier Edouard Marius Ivaldi (Top centre) poses with fellow soldiers in this 1917 picture.

Charles Platiau/Reuters

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