This memorial to the dead of the First World War is hidden away on the western end of the Ile d'Or in Amboise, behind a building site and the youth hostel. It dates from 1971 and is one of several memorials to the dead in the town, including a war memorial on the Mail (the main drag).
The inscription reads 'Mère voici tes fils qui se sont tant battus' (Mother here are your sons who fought so hard). It comes from a poem by Charles Péguy, a French poet and essayist who was killed at the Marne in 1914. The poem is called Eve and is a phenomenal 9000 lines arranged in Alexandrines. Péguy was above all a French patriot, whose work was adopted by both Vichyists and de Gaulle during the Second World War.
Triangular in form and set into a mound the memorial is constructed of big blocks of reinforced concrete. Inside the names of the dead are listed. The work is by Henri-Paul Derycke and is on loan from the National Collection of Contemporary Art (as is the fountain by Max Ernst).
It is not very visible and no one ever places flowers on it, or appears to maintain it. It is not owned by the town, and one gets the sense the monument was sort of dumped there by the State. Amboise has over 20 monuments to various wars and other public sculptures, and the town itself only owns half of them.
Whilst Max Ernst's fountain has recently be lovingly restored, this memorial appears to be more or less abandoned. There are no clues to who commissioned the monument that we can find or why it is on the island, either on the monument itself nor on line.