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Inauguration of a stele in memory of Christian Nicolas in Varaignes


The family and the elected officials in front of the monument @Pascal Nicolas


The stele under the tricolor in front of the @Pascal Nicolas monument


The stele under the tricolor in front of the @Pascal Nicolas monument


Pascal Nicolas delivers the speech in memory of his uncle @Pascal Nicolas

On February 9, 2020 in Varaignes in Dordogne, a stele in memory of Christian Nicolas on the municipal war memorial was inaugurated at the request of families. To date, only 12 of the 52 sailors have been entitled to this honor.


Pascal Nicolas  gave a speech to evoke the memory of his uncle.

Speech by Pascal Nicolas

The attack submarine La Minerve, visual callsign S647, was launched on June 19, 1962.
It sank off Toulon on January 27, 1968 at 8 a.m., leading to the death of the 52 crew members on board. 
Careful research was carried out between 1968 and 1970, but with the technical means of the time they remained fruitless. 

It will be necessary to wait until February 05, 2019 for the Minister of the Armed Forces, Mrs Florence PARLY, to authorize the resumption of research after having listened to the arguments of specialists as to the chances of success made possible by current techniques and technologies.

Thanks to the meticulous work of the teams mobilized, the wreckage was found on July 21, 2019, i.e. 51 years 5 months and 26 days after the tragedy. It rests at a depth of 2,370 m 45 km off Toulon. On July 23, images from the booth with the red letters “S647” were released.

Since July 23, 2019, speaking of the crew, the quote "missing at sea" has been replaced by "died in operation". 

Christian Germain NICOLAS was part of the crew of the Minerve on January 27, 1968, the day of the tragedy.

Born on November 13, 1948 in DRANCY in the Paris region, Christian was the only son of Raymond and Lucienne. 

According to his father's professional activities, Christian's youth was scattered between the Paris region, Varaignes and various other places. 
But it is indeed in Varaignes that its roots and ties have always remained. In Varaignes where he had attended the municipal school for 1 year in the class of Mme REBIERES. 
The people who helped me write this short biography also remember that school was really not his main passion.

His passion was cycling in the Var countryside and those who knew him have the memory of a charming child, adorable with spontaneity, liveliness, affectionate and very attached to his grandmother.

When in 1964 his father found the job where he later made a career, Christian preferred to join the navy rather than returning to settle in the Paris region, in Montmorency.

He joined the school of Saint-Mandrier on September 8, 1964 and volunteered on December 1, 1964. 

Christian specialized in the profession of diesel mechanic and made his first dive aboard the submarine DAUPHIN on September 3, 1966.
His affection aboard La Minerve dates back to January 1, 1967 as Quarter Master 2.

Always bringing back memories of his missions at sea, Christian divided his leave time between his fiancée, Annie, and his getaways to Varaignes with his family.

In August 1967, while he was with his uncle Jean, he told him “this is my last year of commitment. Afterwards, I will go and do the job that excites me, that of a diesel mechanic”.

"Last": This word took a dramatic turn a few months later during this "last dive" on January 27, 1968 which took Christian to the bottom of the Mediterranean at the age of 19 years 2 months and 14 days.

Like the other crew members, Christian was appointed to the order of the armies by decree N°4 on February 7, 1968.
In this metal coffin, your burial is at the peak of 42° 45′ N, 5° 40′ E marine and you rest in peace Christian.


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