Camille is Camille Carmagnolle, my great-great uncle.
He was born on March 13, 1883, in Cotignac, of farmers' parents. Married to Augustine Requin in 1908, he left to work in Marseille for the railroads on the Paris-Lyon-Mediterranean line. He was a soldier in the First World War and was wounded by fragments of shrapnel in 1917. He returned safely in 1918 to Augustine, to whom he had not stopped writing. He then returned to the French railways. Trade unionist and communist activist, he returned to the village at the end of the 1920s and worked on the family property, while continuing his political involvement in the local cells.
But Camille was above all a Resistance fighter who went underground during the Second World War. Under the alias of "Bagnis" or "L'oncle", he led a small group of young people from Cotignac. In 1944, he was in charge of the FTP of Cotignac, ensured the supply of the Bessillon and participated in its armed actions. On July 27, 1944, during the terrible exactions and executions committed by the Germans in Bessillon, he managed to escape with his small group, unlike many resistance fighters who were shot that night. The family history tells that he was surrounded, the Germans having lit a fire on one side and waiting for them on the other, he would have said to his young companions "pee in your shirts, put them on your head and cross the flames". Those who followed him survived. They hid in the Colle d'Auban, where he had a cottage in the vineyards and it was his wife Augustine who supplied them at night, walking through the countryside with a pistol in her handbag. With others, he went to look for the bodies of his tortured comrades and swore to avenge them. His role at the Liberation was very controversial and divided the village. He was charged with having participated in the execution of his namesake Hubert Carmagolle, deputy mayor, whom the Resistance fighters accused of having given them to the Gestapo. But he never really got over these horrific events and had a stele built for his companions in Bessillon.
After the war, he continued to campaign, notably against the war in Indochina. And, in his last years, penniless and childless, it is my grandfather, Milou, one of his nephews, who will ensure him peaceful days. When he died, Aunt "Tine" went to the cemetery, poured a glass of hooch on his grave and said "Here Camille drink a glass". It was his garden, his house. It was his garden, his house, "Uncle Camille's" house.