Last Absolution Chapel Notre Dame de Seez.

Last Absolution 2nd battalion Munster Fusiliers at Rue du Bois 8 May 2023

The Last Absolution administered by Chaplain Rev Father Francis Gleeson (May, 1884 - June, 1959. This scene was captured on canvas or board by Fortunino Matania, WW1 war and Commercial artist
(1881 - Feb 1963). The event took place on Rue du Bois about 0.20 km. (220 yards) west of
Rue de I' Epinette.

Matania did not witness the actual event. The work was commissioned on a description obtained by Mrs Victor Rickard, a well known novelist in her day. It's possible in the oral description that some detail of the shrine may have been lost, whereas the shrine was more like a mini chapel that was evidenced in the region.

 Permanent Signage At Site.

Temporary sign on wall Last Absolution site 

The last new was negotiations were being conducted with local authorities for a permanent signage to be erected identifying the Last Absolution site.

Michel Knockaert has been in contact with the local Council on behalf of the RMFA.

 The Chapel Notre Dame de Seez.

Chapel Notre Dame de Seez photo circa 1940

 The chapel name is mentioned in Rev. Father F. Gleeson's diary for 8 May 1915 entry.The original chapel  was built by the Leroy-Pottier family in 1867 and during the ebb and flow of battle in the early part of the  Great war was destroyed. The chapel in the above photo was rebuilt in 1929 and  according  to elderly  locals mirrored in most aspects the original. Notice in the background the gabled house, this  building  was  still standing when Michel Knockaert took a modern day photo of the house. The above photo is thought  to  be circa 1940's. Sadly the chapel suffered the price of progress and was demolished due to land  resumption for the road realignment. 

Artefacts Recovered from Chapel N. D. de Seez.

Plaque from Chapel Notre Dame de Seez 

 Commemorative Plaque. 

 Note on front of  chapel two plaques.  The lower plaque  describes the event of  8 May 1915.

Right photo, the recovered plaque.



A cet endroit le samedi soir 8 mai 1915
Le 2� Royal Munster Fusiliers
Command� par le Lieutenant-Colonel Victor Rickard
Re�ut de son aumonier le Rev P�re Gleeson
Une derni�re absolution
Avant d�entrer dans la bataille de la c�te d�Aubers
Ou le Colonel Rickard devait trouver la mort
Avec un grand nombre de ses hommes.
Souvenons nous d�eux dans nos pri�res!

At this place (or site) on the evening of Saturday 8 May 1915
The 2nd Royal Munster Fusiliers
Commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Victor Rickard
Received from its chaplain the Reverend Father Gleeson
A final absolution
Before entering (or joining) the battle of the Aubers heights
Where Colonel Rickard met his death
(together) with a great number of his men.
Let us (all) remember (or think of) them in our prayers!

Chapel N. D. de Seez crucifixStatue Virgin Mary Chapel N.D. de SeezCandelabria Chapel N. D. de Seez

Artefacts from the chapel, showing signs of long storage in an outbuilding attic,


Farmhouse Behind the Demolished Chapel N. D. de Seez. The house on Rue du Bois that backed Chapel N.D. de Seez  



 Photo circa 2006

The house that was behind the chapel in the 1940's photo, situated on the right side of Rue de Bois travelling from Neuve Chapelle.





Last updated -


Credits: Last Absolution from an original print, J. O'Sullivan.             All other photosf Michel Knockaert.