Battle of Agincourt Memorial

Maisoncelle, France

Azincourt (Agincourt in English) is a town where the key battle of the Hundred Years War took place here on October 25, 1415, in which English outnumbered forces under Henry V defeated a French army. It has gone down in legend as one of England's greatest military victories. Henry's army lost between 200 to 400 men (including the Duke of York and the Earl of Suffolk), while French casualties were estimated as high as 10,000. Among the latter were commander-in-chief Charles of Albret, three dukes, five counts, some 90 barons and over 1500 knights.

No Englishmen were buried at Agincourt; Henry had their corpses piled into a barn which was then burned to the ground. The remains of Albret and 13 French noblemen were entombed in a monastery church in the fortified town of Hesdin (destroyed in 1553), and other slain aristocrats were taken away by their families or retinues. Five days after the battle, Philip Count of Chartlois commissioned the burial of the remaining French dead. Some 5800 bodies were interred in three pits at the eastern edge of the field; the ground was consecrated and surrounded with a stone wall.

In 1734 the Marchioness of Tramecourt built a small chapel there, but this and the cemetery itself were destroyed by pro-revolutionary mobs in 1794. The site of the mass graves is now enveloped by trees and marked only with a wood and stone crucifix, placed around 1820. There is also a more modern memorial on the grounds as well as a museum/tourist center.

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