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Fresnoy-en-Gohelle

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Fresnoy-en-Gohelle

Fresnoy-en-Gohelle
Fresnoy-en-Gohelle
Fresnoy-en-Gohelle

Coordinates: 50°21′59″N 2°53′27″E / 50.3664°N 2.8908°E / 50.3664; 2.8908Coordinates: 50°21′59″N 2°53′27″E / 50.3664°N 2.8908°E / 50.3664; 2.8908

Country France
Region Nord-Pas-de-Calais
Department Pas-de-Calais
Arrondissement Arras
Canton Vimy
Intercommunality Osartis
Government
 • Mayor (2008–2014) Michel Volanti
Area
 • Land1 2.98 km2 (1.15 sq mi)
Population (1999)
 • Population2 199
 • Population2 density 67/km2 (170/sq mi)
INSEE/Postal code 62358 / 62580
Elevation 42–70 m (138–230 ft)
(avg. 60 m or 200 ft)

1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km² (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.

2 Population without double counting: residents of multiple communes (e.g., students and military personnel) only counted once.

Fresnoy-en-Gohelle is a commune in the Pas-de-Calais department in the Nord-Pas-de-Calais region of France.

Geography

A small farming village situated 9 miles (14.5 km) northeast of Arras, at the junction of the D919 and the D33 roads.

Population

Historical population of Fresnoy-en-Gohelle
Year 1962196819751982199019992005
Population 127127120140206199232
From the year 1962 on: population without double counting—residents of multiple communes (e.g. students and military personnel) are counted only once.

Places of interest

  • The church of St.Armand, rebuilt as was the rest of the village, after World War I.

World War I

Fresnoy was virtually destroyed in 1917 during the First World War.

After their successes in the spring campaigns (including the taking of Vimy Ridge), the Canadians and British pushed eastwards across open country until they reached German defence lines that, in this sector, ran north to south from Arleux, on to Oppy and then down to Gavrelle.

Following a successful push by the Canadians through Arelux in late April, German positions in and around Fresnoy became the scene of fierce fighting on April 28, 1917. Ernst Jünger, who wrote Storm of Steel, recalled the barrage on the village:

‘Fresnoy was one towering fountain of earth after another. Each second seemed to outdo the last. As if by some magical power, one house subsided into the earth; walls broke, gables fell, and bare sets of beams and joints were sent flying through the air, cutting down the roofs of other houses. Clouds of splinters danced over whitish wraiths of steam. Eyes and ears were utterly compelled by this devastation.’

A few weeks later, on May 5, the Canadians managed to capture the village. It was lost, however, when ferocious German counter attacks were launched on May 7 and pushed the Canadians and British back. The frontline then stabilised just outside the village.

See also

References

  • INSEE commune file
  • Bilton, D, Oppy Wood, Pen and Sword Military, 2005
  • Nichols, J, Cheerful Sacrifice: The Battle of Arras 1917, Pen and Sword Military, 2003
  • Jünger, E, Storm of Steel, Penguin, 2003

External links

  • Fresnoy-en-Gohelle on the Quid website (French)
  • Finding Private Adams, a soldier who fought near Fresnoy
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