Maurice Valette's identification documents

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Description

The pictures show Maurice Valette's documents as a soldier in the French army and as a prisoner of war in the German camp Rennbahn, near Münster.

Context

Maurice Valette (Sarlat, 18 July 1885-Le Mans, 5 January 1979) was a French poet, playwright, and insurance agent. As part of the 1905 military class, he was called at the end of 1914 to serve in the 3rd Field Artillery Regiment. He was captured near Maubeuge (along the Belgian border near Mons) in November 1915 and sent to the prisoner-of-war camp Rennbahn Münster II in Lower Saxony where he remained for the rest of the war. He played an important part in the camp’s cultural life as a member of the theatre company and part of the team for the camp’s newspaper L’Echo de Rennbahn. He was considerably well educated, gaining his bachelor's degree in 1902 at a time when this was not commonplace, and so he also gave German lessons to his fellow comrades.