PLM employee

Genealogy is full of surprises. Claude Boyer has discovered a family link with Marcel Pagno's childhood friend, Lili des Belons.

But Claude's family story begins on the train, or rather at the level crossing. Let's go to the east of the Var, to Puget sur Argens.

Early 20th century: level crossing at Puget sur Argens

Claude Pelletier (right, cap and black pants) worked at the level crossing at Puget sur Argens (Var). He is Claude Boyer's great-grandfather. In fact, Claude is named after him!

The gentleman on the right in the cap and black pants is my great-grandfather, Claude Pelletier .....qui, whose first name I inherited.

He was born in Peypin (13) in 1874 and died in Puget in 1936. His son Alexandre, my grandfather, was born in Golfe Juan (06) in 1905, and my mother Yvette, the first Varoise on my mother's side of the family, was born in Puget in 1932.

Claude Pelletier was a PLM employee, which explains his various transfers.

My maternal family originates from Chevinay in the Rhône, where Claude's father Benoît was born in 1843. I found my oldest ancestor in this branch, also named Claude, born in Courzieu (69) in 1666.

Genealogy sometimes holds surprises.

After leaving Chevinay, my great-grandfather Benoît settled in Auriol (13), where in 1873 he married a local girl, Nathalie Caillol. Through my great-grandmother, I'm a grandnephew of Baptistin Magnan, better known as Lili des Belons, Marcel Pagnol's childhood friend, to whom he introduced the Etoile hills "under the goat-covered Garlaban in the days of the last goatherds".

Killed in action

Lili des Belons fell in 1918 and never achieved the glory of Marcel, who wrote: "He died in a dark northern forest, a bullet in the forehead had cut short his young life, and he had fallen in the rain, on clumps of cold plants whose names he did not know."

Thanks to Jean Pierre Violino who introduced me to this illustrious genealogy.

Claude Boyer

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