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RTR3HV1V
WWI - Verdun's Missing Villages - 20 Mar 2014
A hundred years after the guns fell silent in World War One, nine villages wiped out by fighting on France's bloodiest battleground continue to lead a ghostly existence. Their names still appear on maps and in government records. Mayors representing them are designated by local authorities. But most of the streets, shops, houses and people who once lived around the French army stronghold of Verdun are gone.

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FRANCE/
RTR3HUWZ
March 20, 2014
The WWI Douaumont ossuary is seen near Verdun, eastern France, March 4, 2014. The sentence reads 'This...
DOUAUMONT, France
The WWI Douaumont ossuary is seen near Verdun, eastern France
The WWI Douaumont ossuary is seen near Verdun, eastern France, March 4, 2014. The sentence reads 'This tower was given to the great deeds of Verdun by their friends from the US'. A hundred years after the guns fell silent in World War One, nine villages wiped out by fighting on France's bloodiest battleground continue to lead a ghostly existence. Their names still appear on maps and in government records. Mayors representing them are designated by local authorities. But most of the streets, shops, houses and people who once lived around the French army stronghold of Verdun are gone. Picture taken March 4, 2014. REUTERS/Vincent Kessler (FRANCE - Tags: CITYSCAPE MILITARY ANNIVERSARY POLITICS CONFLICT TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)

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FRANCE/
RTR3HUWX
March 20, 2014
The WWI Douaumont ossuary is seen near Verdun, eastern France March 4, 2014. A hundred years after the...
DOUAUMONT, France
The WWI Douaumont ossuary is seen near Verdun, eastern France
The WWI Douaumont ossuary is seen near Verdun, eastern France March 4, 2014. A hundred years after the guns fell silent in World War One, nine villages wiped out by fighting on France's bloodiest battleground continue to lead a ghostly existence. Their names still appear on maps and in government records. Mayors representing them are designated by local authorities. But most of the streets, shops, houses and people who once lived around the French army stronghold of Verdun are gone. Picture taken March 4, 2014. REUTERS/Vincent Kessler (FRANCE - Tags: CITYSCAPE MILITARY ANNIVERSARY POLITICS CONFLICT)

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FRANCE/
RTR3HUXC
March 20, 2014
Crosses are seen at the WWI Douaumont ossuary near Verdun, eastern France March 5, 2014. A hundred years...
DOUAUMONT, France
Crosses are seen at the WWI Douaumont ossuary near Verdun, eastern France
Crosses are seen at the WWI Douaumont ossuary near Verdun, eastern France March 5, 2014. A hundred years after the guns fell silent in World War One, nine villages wiped out by fighting on France's bloodiest battleground continue to lead a ghostly existence. Their names still appear on maps and in government records. Mayors representing them are designated by local authorities. But most of the streets, shops, houses and people who once lived around the French army stronghold of Verdun are gone. Picture taken March 5, 2014. REUTERS/Vincent Kessler (FRANCE - Tags: CITYSCAPE MILITARY ANNIVERSARY POLITICS CONFLICT TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)

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FRANCE/
RTR3HUX2
March 20, 2014
A plaque marks the place where a cafe used to stand in the village of Fleury near Verdun March 5, 2014....
Verdun, France
A plaque marks the place where a cafe used to stand in the village of Fleury near Verdun
A plaque marks the place where a cafe used to stand in the village of Fleury near Verdun March 5, 2014. A hundred years after the guns fell silent in World War One, nine villages wiped out by fighting on France's bloodiest battleground continue to lead a ghostly existence. Their names still appear on maps and in government records. Mayors representing them are designated by local authorities. But most of the streets, shops, houses and people who once lived around the French army stronghold of Verdun are gone. Picture taken March 5, 2014. REUTERS/Vincent Kessler (FRANCE - Tags: CITYSCAPE MILITARY ANNIVERSARY POLITICS CONFLICT)

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FRANCE/
RTR3HUX7
March 20, 2014
Jean-Pierre Laparra, 62, the mayor of Fleury, poses for a photograph in his village near Verdun March...
Verdun, France
Jean-Pierre Laparra, the mayor of Fleury, poses for a photograph in his village near Verdun
Jean-Pierre Laparra, 62, the mayor of Fleury, poses for a photograph in his village near Verdun March 5, 2014. A hundred years after the guns fell silent in World War One, nine villages wiped out by fighting on France's bloodiest battleground continue to lead a ghostly existence. Their names still appear on maps and in government records. Mayors representing them are designated by local authorities. But most of the streets, shops, houses and people who once lived around the French army stronghold of Verdun are gone. Picture taken March 5, 2014. REUTERS/Vincent Kessler (FRANCE - Tags: CITYSCAPE MILITARY ANNIVERSARY POLITICS CONFLICT)

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FRANCE/
RTR3HUX4
March 20, 2014
Trees stand in the village of Fleury, near Verdun March 5, 2014. A hundred years after the guns fell...
Verdun, France
Trees stand in the village of Fleury, near Verdun
Trees stand in the village of Fleury, near Verdun March 5, 2014. A hundred years after the guns fell silent in World War One, nine villages wiped out by fighting on France's bloodiest battleground continue to lead a ghostly existence. Their names still appear on maps and in government records. Mayors representing them are designated by local authorities. But most of the streets, shops, houses and people who once lived around the French army stronghold of Verdun are gone. Picture taken March 5, 2014. REUTERS/Vincent Kessler (FRANCE - Tags: CITYSCAPE MILITARY ANNIVERSARY POLITICS CONFLICT)

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FRANCE/
RTR3HUXU
March 20, 2014
Charles Saint-Vannes, 77, the mayor of Ornes, poses for a photograph in the remains of the village's...
Verdun, France
Charles Saint-Vannes, the mayor of Ornes, poses for a photograph in the remains of the village's church...
Charles Saint-Vannes, 77, the mayor of Ornes, poses for a photograph in the remains of the village's church near Verdun March 5, 2014. A hundred years after the guns fell silent in World War One, nine villages wiped out by fighting on France's bloodiest battleground continue to lead a ghostly existence. Their names still appear on maps and in government records. Mayors representing them are designated by local authorities. But most of the streets, shops, houses and people who once lived around the French army stronghold of Verdun are gone. Picture taken March 5, 2014. REUTERS/Vincent Kessler (FRANCE - Tags: CITYSCAPE MILITARY ANNIVERSARY POLITICS ELECTIONS CONFLICT)

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FRANCE/
RTR3HUXR
March 20, 2014
A monument stands in Vaux near Verdun March 4, 2014. The quote from former French president and later...
Verdun, France
A monument stands in Vaux near Verdun
A monument stands in Vaux near Verdun March 4, 2014. The quote from former French president and later prime minister Raymond Poincare reads 'Passers-by tell other people that this village died to save Verdun so that Verdun could save the world'. A hundred years after the guns fell silent in World War One, nine villages wiped out by fighting on France's bloodiest battleground continue to lead a ghostly existence. Their names still appear on maps and in government records. Mayors representing them are designated by local authorities. But most of the streets, shops, houses and people who once lived around the French army stronghold of Verdun are gone. Picture taken March 4, 2014. REUTERS/Vincent Kessler (FRANCE - Tags: CITYSCAPE MILITARY ANNIVERSARY POLITICS CONFLICT)

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FRANCE/
RTR3HUXP
March 20, 2014
Francois-Xavier Long, 69, the mayor of Louvemont, poses for a photograph in his village near Verdun March...
Verdun, France
Francois-Xavier Long, the mayor of Louvemont, poses for a photograph in his village near Verdun
Francois-Xavier Long, 69, the mayor of Louvemont, poses for a photograph in his village near Verdun March 5, 2014. A hundred years after the guns fell silent in World War One, nine villages wiped out by fighting on France's bloodiest battleground continue to lead a ghostly existence. Their names still appear on maps and in government records. Mayors representing them are designated by local authorities. But most of the streets, shops, houses and people who once lived around the French army stronghold of Verdun are gone. Picture taken March 5, 2014. REUTERS/Vincent Kessler (FRANCE - Tags: TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY CITYSCAPE MILITARY ANNIVERSARY POLITICS CONFLICT)

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FRANCE/
RTR3HUXY
March 20, 2014
A road sign that reads "main street" stands in the village of Bezonvaux near Verdun March 4, 2014. A...
Verdun, France
A road sign stands in the village of Bezonvaux near Verdun
A road sign that reads "main street" stands in the village of Bezonvaux near Verdun March 4, 2014. A hundred years after the guns fell silent in World War One, nine villages wiped out by fighting on France's bloodiest battleground continue to lead a ghostly existence. Their names still appear on maps and in government records. Mayors representing them are designated by local authorities. But most of the streets, shops, houses and people who once lived around the French army stronghold of Verdun are gone. Picture taken March 4, 2014. REUTERS/Vincent Kessler (FRANCE - Tags: CITYSCAPE MILITARY ANNIVERSARY POLITICS CONFLICT)

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FRANCE/
RTR3HUY7
March 20, 2014
A cross is seen at the "Tranchee des Baillonettes" (Trench of the Bayonets) monument near Verdun March...
DOUAUMONT, France
A cross is seen at the Tranchee des Baillonettes monument near Verdun
A cross is seen at the "Tranchee des Baillonettes" (Trench of the Bayonets) monument near Verdun March 4, 2014. A hundred years after the guns fell silent in World War One, nine villages wiped out by fighting on France's bloodiest battleground continue to lead a ghostly existence. Their names still appear on maps and in government records. Mayors representing them are designated by local authorities. But most of the streets, shops, houses and people who once lived around the French army stronghold of Verdun are gone. Picture taken March 4, 2014. REUTERS/Vincent Kessler (FRANCE - Tags: CITYSPACE MILITARY ANNIVERSARY POLITICS ELECTIONS CONFLICT)

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FRANCE/
RTR3HUY5
March 20, 2014
Jean Lavigne, 72, the mayor of Cumieres-le-Mort-Homme, poses for a photograph in his village near Verdun,...
Verdun, France
Jean Lavigne, the mayor of Cumieres-le-Mort-Homme, poses for a photograph in his village near Verdun
Jean Lavigne, 72, the mayor of Cumieres-le-Mort-Homme, poses for a photograph in his village near Verdun, March 6, 2014. A hundred years after the guns fell silent in World War One, nine villages wiped out by fighting on France's bloodiest battleground continue to lead a ghostly existence. Their names still appear on maps and in government records. Mayors representing them are designated by local authorities. But most of the streets, shops, houses and people who once lived around the French army stronghold of Verdun are gone. Picture taken March 6, 2014. REUTERS/Vincent Kessler (FRANCE - Tags: CITYSCAPE MILITARY ANNIVERSARY POLITICS CONFLICT)

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FRANCE/
RTR3HUY3
March 20, 2014
A monument stands in Cumieres-le-Mort-Homme near Verdun March 5, 2014. A hundred years after the guns...
Verdun, France
A monument stands in Cumieres-le-Mort-Homme near Verdun
A monument stands in Cumieres-le-Mort-Homme near Verdun March 5, 2014. A hundred years after the guns fell silent in World War One, nine villages wiped out by fighting on France's bloodiest battleground continue to lead a ghostly existence. Their names still appear on maps and in government records. Mayors representing them are designated by local authorities. But most of the streets, shops, houses and people who once lived around the French army stronghold of Verdun are gone. Picture taken March 5, 2014. REUTERS/Vincent Kessler (FRANCE - Tags: CITYSCAPE MILITARY ANNIVERSARY POLITICS ELECTIONS CONFLICT)

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FRANCE/
RTR3HUYB
March 20, 2014
A WWI monument stands in Verdun March 4, 2014. A hundred years after the guns fell silent in World War...
Verdun, France
A WWI monument stands in Verdun
A WWI monument stands in Verdun March 4, 2014. A hundred years after the guns fell silent in World War One, nine villages wiped out by fighting on France's bloodiest battleground continue to lead a ghostly existence. Their names still appear on maps and in government records. Mayors representing them are designated by local authorities. But most of the streets, shops, houses and people who once lived around the French army stronghold of Verdun are gone. Picture taken March 4, 2014. REUTERS/Vincent Kessler (FRANCE - Tags: CITYSCAPE MILITARY ANNIVERSARY POLITICS CONFLICT)

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