They find in the forest the military plate of a Poilu and start looking for his family.

But who is Jean-Baptiste Bibé? This is what Frédérique and her companion have been trying to find out for more than a week. On November 21, 2022, the couple from Vosges accidentally found a military identity plate during a walk in the forest in Vittel (Vosges). On its front, it is inscribed “BIBE J. Baptiste 1896”. On its back, we can read “PAU 2030”. “We quickly understood that it was an object that belonged to a world war i soldier »tells us the 47-year-old woman.

Back home, the couple tries to find information on the Internet. “We Googled his first and last name but couldn’t find anything. » Determined to find out more, Frédérique posts a publication on the Facebook group “You know you’re from Pau when…”spotted France Blue Bearn Bigorre . “We threw a bottle into the sea without really knowing what it was going to giveshe tells us. And we were very surprised! More than 300 people replied in the comments and they gave us valuable information. »

What do we know about Private Bibé?

Where is the investigation now? Thanks to internet users, the couple learned that the number 1896 on the plate corresponded to the soldier’s posting date. “While we thought it was his date of birth. » The number 2030 corresponds to his registration number. A user has managed to find his birth certificate extract. We learn that Jean-Baptiste Bibé was born on May 7, 1876 in Guinarthe-Parenties (Pyrénées-Atlantiques). “We also know that he died on January 6, 1955 in Osserain-Rivareyte at the age of 79. We therefore understood that he had not died on the front. »

A man managed to recover his military record in the archives. “We didn’t even think it was possible! Without the help of Internet users, we would never have progressed so well », rejoices Frédérique, who works as a worker. This document indicates that the soldier exercised the profession of farmer. He would have done three years of military service and would have been called up for the first time on August 4, 1914 at the beginning of the great war. He is “gone to the armies” TO DO “Campaigns Against Germany” in an infantry regiment in Pau (Pyrénées-Atlantiques), we can read on his file.

“A testimony of the past”

More information is coming in as the days go by. The Vosges also know that Jean-Baptiste Bibé was the father of six children and that his wife’s name was Garat. Since then, the investigation has stalled. “I looked in the phone book for all the people with the surname Bibé and I called them. But I haven’t had an answer yet. » However, Frédérique does not despair. She intends to go to the end to elucidate the mystery.

“Our goal is to find his family to give him this plaque. It is a testimony of the past. We would be so happy if someone found an object from our great-grandparents and brought it back to us. » The 40-year-old contacted the head of French remembrance in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques department. The latter should return to her in a few days. The couple will also soon turn to the Resistance and Deportation Museum in Pau. “You never know, any lead is good to follow! »

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They find in the forest the military plate of a Poilu and start looking for his family.


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