Marguerite Salembien (°1895)

Salembier Marguerite and two colleagues

As a qualified teacher, Marguerite Salembien from Kortemark taught at the Jardin Marie-José in Wulveringem in WWI, a section of the 'queen's schools' created by Queen Elisabeth for the children of families living in or near the front. She earned one franc a day, with an additional 12 francs per month for laundry. She ended up there by accident. When general Jacques marched through Kortemark he offered Marguerite a rose. She innocently refused it. The general tried to find her and discovered she was a teacher. A few days later 2 mounted police brought her to Wulveringem.


Marguerite Salembien was transferred in late 1917 from Wulveringem to the school of Le Tréport (Fr). After WWI she worked as a teacher at the primary school of Nimy (Mons). A second chance encounter defined the rest of her life. During the procession of Veurne a friendly man, Jean-Camiel Langue from Bertrix, gave her an umbrella. She married him in 1922. They went to live in Laken, where they built a house in the style of the houses of Le Tréport. They had one daughter: Martine. After the war in vain fought for the recognition she thought she was entitled to.