The disturbing discovery at Sevastopol's Cane Bay Beach in December revealed a major French soldiers cemetery who died in the war against the Russian Empire during the Crimean War (1854-1856).
The discovery has yet to determine the number of bodies that could still be found under the ground where the brutal conflict in which Great Britain, France and the Ottoman Empire fought against Russia, in which many consider one of the first modern conflicts of the world.
“So far dozens of bodies have been discovered, and it is possible that there are more, since the area is quite large”Said Olexander Natalich, a volunteer with the historical research group.
Members of the group went to the construction site in December, when local residents informed them of the discovery. Natalich indicated that the first thing he thought was that the yellowish bones belonged to the Russian or German soldiers who fought in the WWII when the city of the Black Sea was once again the meeting point of bloody battles. However, they later found fragments of a military coat with buttons from the French infantry regiment that took part in the siege of Sevastopol in the Crimean War.
According to the director of the local museum, Arkady Baiburtsky, historical documents show that a huge French army camp was stationed on the shore of the Cane Bay. In fact, forensics have concluded that the remains belong to people who died more than 100 years ago.
“All these evidences allow us to affirm that it is a cemetery of the hospital of the French contingent, since the bodies are in holes dug to the same depthBaiburtsky said.
According to different estimates, the French lost between 45,000 and 95,000 soldiers in the conflict, mainly due to cholera, which was spread by poor hygiene and water supply problems.
The average age of the deceased does not exceed 30 years, and due to the absence of personal effects and documents is almost impossible to know your identity. However, the bodies will most likely find their final rest in the 19th century French military necropolis, which was destroyed by the Soviet empire and restored in the 2000s by the French government.
Almost graduated in Advertising and Public Relations. I started to like history in 2nd year of high school thanks to a very good teacher who made us see that we have to know our past to know where the future takes us. Since then I have not had the opportunity to investigate more in all that our history offers us, but now I can take up that concern and share it with you.