©ge-03-stylo-matthieu-3|© Mathieu Brard
Explore the daily life of the PoilusAlexandre Villedieu Museum

Alexandre Villedieu Museum, Loos-en-Gohelle

“Visitor, remember that behind every object, there was a man.”


These words that welcome visitors to the Alexandre Villedieu Interpretation Center and Museum are resounding. Inside, Gilles Payen and the association “Loos, in the footsteps of the Great War” are busy preserving and transmitting the memory of soldiers. French, Canadians, British, Germans… All fought on the land of Loos-en-Gohelle, in the Pas-de-Calais, for the freedom of the nation. Their memory comes to life through objects recovered after World War I, saved by time.

Passionate and immersive, the visit to this interpretive center promises to create historical memories and better grasp the daily life of the trenches.

Day after day, in the trenches...

There is no doubt, Loos-en-Gohelle is a land marked by history. While this Pas-de-Calais commune has managed to rise from its ashes, the First World War did not leave it without scars. The scene of three attacks between 1915 and 1917, the French, the British and the Canadians fought in turn to defend Loos and liberate this land from the Germans. Bombing, gas, famine…The consequences of the war are felt on the battlefield and the landscapes of the Hauts-de-France are shaped in this way, over the course of history.

Years later, the traces left by the soldiers during the war remain engraved on the French soil. The history of the poilus awakens in us a real desire for memory: this is the project undertaken by the association “Loos, in the footsteps of the Great War” that can be discovered at the Museum Alexandre Villedieu of Loos-en-Gohelle.

A desire for memory

Founded in 1992, the Alexandre Villedieu Interpretation Center and Museum takes its name from a French soldier who died on the battlefield of Loos-en-Gohelle. His pen was the first object found on the site of the war and the beginning of a beautiful collection. For Gilles Payen’s association, “Loos, sur les traces de la Grande Guerre”, this piece is a symbol: that of a life that must not be passed over in silence, just like that of thousands of other men. Each relic has its history, its feeling, its usefulness:


“To make these objects speak to tell the story of the Great War through them.”

Sensitizing new generations to the History of France, this is the mission that Gilles Payen, who is also the manager of the Alexandre Villedieu Museum, has given himself. The man bears a personal attachment to this collection: among the Allied or enemy uniforms and medals dating from the First World War, a paper cutter belongs to his great-grandfather, a French soldier who fought in Loos-en-Gohelle.


Discoveries from another time

Arms, dishes, identification bracelets, assault plans…It is a most complete collection that is submitted to us. The Alexandre Villedieu Museum association indeed maintains links with the descendants of soldiers from all over the world, especially British, Canadian and German. Between the funeral plaque of Lieutenant-Colonel Egerton and a Shrapnel shell, the objects are assembled to give an account of the daily life of French, British and German soldiers on the battlefield. Fascinating and instructive, Gilles Payen’s guided tour is a true history story that takes you beyond the 4 walls of the Alexandre Villedieu Museum.

As interesting as it is immersive, the visit can continue on the battlefield of Loos-en-Gohelle: Place de la République, very close to the museum, the British Memorial and Dud Corner Cemetery in Loos present themselves as a true haven of peace and meditation.

Visit the Alexandre Villedieu Museum

All our practical information.

The Alexandre Villedieu Museum opens its doors to you upon reservation, for guided tours:

Museum rates: 3 euros per person
Battlefield rates: 2 euros per person

📍Address: Alexandre Villedieu Museum, Place de la République, 62750 Loos En Gohelle

📞 Telephone: 03 21 70 59 75

📧 E-mail:

💻 Site: