France honours six-year-old WWII resistance hero

Aixe-sur-Vienne (France) (AFP) –


France paid tribute to a boy regarded as its youngest-ever resistance hero on Wednesday as part of the nationwide Armistice Day ceremonies in memory of those who died in World Wars I and II.

In a special ceremony, the name of Marcel Pinte, who was only six years old when he was accidentally shot by friendly fire, was inscribed on the war memorial of Aixe-sur-Vienne, just west of the central city of Limoges.

Marcel, known as Quinquin, is seen as a hero for carrying messages under his shirt to leaders of the resistance against Nazi occupation during World War II.

He died, aged just six, on August 19, 1944, when a large deployment of resistance fighters arrived by parachute ahead of an expected battle around Aixe as Allied forces began to liberate France.

They were heavily armed and Marcel was hit by several bullets when a Sten sub-machine gun went off accidentally.

"People who pass by this monument to the dead will notice his name and particularly his age," said a family member, Marc Pinte.

"It's an honour. It throws a light on those who remained in the shadow but who fought for freedom."

In 1950, Marcel was posthumously awarded the rank of sergeant of the resistance.

And in 2013, he posthumously received an official card for "volunteer combatants of the Resistance" from the National Office of Former Combatants and War Victims.