The First World War: a postcard with news of Déchelette’s death

In the Institute’s archive there is an old album of postcards collected by Francis Haverfield (1860-1919). We were looking through it when we came across this poignant postcard from Salomon Reinach. Reinach confirms the news that the great archaeologist Joseph Déchelette had been killed in action.


Reinach writes: “Alas! it is true; Déchelette, aged 53 … insisted on going to the front and was struck dead by a shell. It is an immense … loss, but his manuscript was almost finished.”

This month marks the centenary of Déchelette’s death: he died on the 4th October 1914. He was one of the first scholars to identify the link between La Tène culture and the Celts.


About Archaeology Archives Administrator

Researchers in the archives of the Institute of Archaeology, University of Oxford. Home of the Historic Environment Image Resource. Passionate about old photographs and fresh biscuits.
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3 Responses to The First World War: a postcard with news of Déchelette’s death

  1. John Collis says:

    I have passed this information on to various French colleagues who have been looking at Déchelette’s correspondence, and organising various events and publications to commemorate his death. I have sent a copy of the email to Chris Gosden who can pass the email contacts to you.

  2. Pingback: Around the Archaeology Blog-o-sphere Digest #8 | Doug's Archaeology

  3. PERE-NOGUES says:

    Merci pour cette carte. J’ai vu aux archives de la Méjanes à Aix-en-Provence la carte de Francis Haverfield qui fut aussi un correspondant de Joseph Déchelette. Il demandait à Salomon Reinach si Déchelette était mort à la guerre comme une rumeur l’annonçait.
    Si vous le souhaitez je peux vous retranscrire correctement la carte de S. Reinach.
    Sandra Péré-Noguès
    TRACES (UMR 5608)
    Université Toulouse 2
    Responable du PCR “Archives et correspondance de Joseph Déchelette”

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