Archives of Frans De Schouwer

  • Access and consultation: The fonds Frans De Schouwer can be accessed during the opening hours of the reading room. Its content is freely accessible. Reservation.
  • Reproduction:  The content of the fonds can be reproduced freely in our reading room. For any information about requests for a document reproduction carried out by CegeSoma staff can be found here.
  • Research instruments: Inventory  AA2433

Archive fonds description:

After the Second World War, the need was felt to create veteran associations in order to defend their interests and to preserve their memory. The fonds Frans De Schouwer mainly contains documents of the national federation “Strijders van 1940-45” (Combattants de 1940-45) and of the royal alliance “De Veteranen van Koning Albert I” (Les vétérans du roi Albert I). These archives are far from exhaustive, but it is striking to see that many documents were conserved nevertheless. In addition to the two associations mentioned above, the fonds also comprises archives from Vuurkruisbond, Roulers department, NEFOS (Police nationale des anciens combattants) and Fraternelle des associations patriotiques de Roulers et de Meise. Veterans were indeed sometimes members of several associations at once, so they held archives from each of them.

Frans De Schouwer was the last national secretary of the national federation “Strijders van 1940-45”, which means that most archives of this association probably ended up in his possession. The association was disbanded in 2011. Its aim was to defend the interests of its members, to preserve patriotism and to honour various commemorations. The members were former servicemen, disabled veterans, war prisoners, resistance fighters and CRAB members. The documents of these archives shed light on the daily business of the association, such as member and membership fee management, granting of distinctions, participation in commemorations, keeping members informed and war pension requests from veterans, for example.

The royal association “De Veteranen van Koning Albert I” has also left a significant trace in the archives. Its goal was to commemorate King Albert I and those deceased during the war, to organise celebrations and field trips, to provide help to those in need and the award distinctions.

For more information :

  • Alain Colignon , « La Belgique, une patrie d’anciens combattants ? », Cahier d’Histoire du Temps Présent, 3, 1997.