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Description
ID155
NameNus, René Antoine
Family NameNus
Given NameRené
Field of ActivityMilitary (French Army)
Date of birth4 May 1913
Place of birthNancy
Date of death6 January 1983
Place of deathNancy
Biographical information

René Antoine Nus was born on 4 May 1913 in Nancy, the eldest in a family of three children. He was the son of Christopher Nus and Berthe Tribouley. He spent his childhood and young adulthood in the region of Nancy in the very difficult economic and social context of wartime and postwar in France. The lack of job and food led him to make a living on his own at the end of primary school by doing odd jobs, including farm work, in Lorraine. He was not even  20  on 10 January 1933 when he signed up for five years with the colonial troops in the 21th Colonial Mixed Infantry Regiment ( RMIC ) in Paris. He had to wait until his majority to leave the metropolis and left Marseille on 4 May 1934 on the steamer André Lebon bound to China. He arrived in Shanghai on 6 June 1934 and joined the 17th Colonial Infantry Regiment (RIC). On 11 December 1934, he transferred to the 16th Colonial Infantry Regiment (Bernez - Cambot Barracks in the French Concession of Shanghai). During his first two years in China, he served for a time in the French Concession in Hankou. His first stay in China ended in January 1937.

Back in France , he went into training to drive tanks at the Automotive Center of the Colonial Troops (CMTC) in Frejus. On 18 August 1937, he enlisted for another four years and was assigned to serve again in China. He arrived in Shanghai in November 1937 where he joined the 16th Colonial Infantry Regiment. In early 1938, the 16th R.I.C. became the China Mixed Colonial Infantry Battalion ( BMICC ). Nus was promoted to first class private and served a tank driver in the 2nd company of the BMICC. There he met his brother George Nus who had also enlisted in the colonial troops and pursued his military career in Indochina. When his four-year contract ended, he enlisted for another three years in December 1941 and then again for three years in December 1944. In September 1942 he was awarded the medal Overseas (médaille d'Outre Mer). This second stay in China – it ended prematurely in June 1946 – represented one of the happiest and yet most difficult period in René Nus’ life. He met Sie Ying Ly who became his wife in May 1946, but he also lived through the tragic events of the Sino-Japanese War (1937-1945), in particular the Japanese invasion and occupation of Shanghai.

The retrocession of the French concession to China in March 1946 also marked the dissolution of BMICC. The French troops were repatriated and René Sus, his wife and their three children born in Shanghai boarded the French cruiser Tourville to  Saigon in June 1946 and from there returned to France on 8 August 1946 on board the troop transport ship Pastor. The Nus family landed at Toulon on 25 August 1946 and temporarily settled in the home of Berthe Tribouley in Nancy. The family whose only member who spoke French was René Nus, later moved to Maxéville. René Nus terminated his last contract with the army on 10 January 1948 as a Master Corporal in the 3rd Battalion of Colonial Infantry (BIC) at Versailles. After his release, he worked for the "Chaussures André" shoe factory and the "Tobacco Manufacture" both in Nancy. From the union of René Nus and Sie Ying Ly (alias Anna) eleven children were born. René and Anna kept their stays in China many memories, especially pictures of Shanghai and postcards of China, part of which are published on the website of the Institut d’Asie Orientale (IAO). René Nus died on 6 January 1983 at the age of 69 years.

Biographie (français)

Nus René Antoine est né le 4 mai 1913 à Nancy, aîné d'une fratrie de 3 enfants, il est le fils de Christophe Nus et de Berthe Tribouley. Son enfance et sa vie de jeune adulte se passent dans la région de Nancy dans le contexte économique et social très difficile de la France en guerre et d'après guerre. Le manque de travail et de nourriture, le conduit dès la fin de ses études primaires à subvenir à ses propres besoins par de petits travaux notamment dans les fermes de Lorraine. C'est peu avant 20 ans, le 10 janvier 1933, qu'il s'engage volontairement pour 5 ans, dans les troupes coloniales au titre du 21ième Régiment Mixte d'Infanterie Coloniale (R.M.I.C.) à Paris. Il attendra sa majorité pour quitter la Métropole et embarque à Marseille le 4 mai 1934 sur le vapeur André Lebon à destination de la Chine. Il débarque à Shanghai le 6 juin 1934 et rejoint le 17ième Régiment d'Infanterie Coloniale (R.I.C.). Le 11 décembre 1934, il passe au 16ième Régiment d'Infanterie Coloniale (caserne BERNEZ-CAMBOT de la concession française de Shanghai). Pendant ces 2 premières années en Chine, il effectuera une partie de son service dans la concession française de HANKOU. Son premier séjour en Chine se termine en janvier 1937.

De retour en France, il est en formation à la conduite sur char au Centre de Motorisation des Troupes Coloniales (C.M.T.C.) de Fréjus. Le 18 août 1937, il se réengage pour 4 ans et est désigné pour servir à nouveau en Chine. Il débarque à Shanghai en novembre 1937 et retrouve le 16ième Régiment d'Infanterie Coloniale. Début 1938, le 16ième R.I.C. devient le Bataillon Mixte d'Infanterie Coloniale de Chine (B.M.I.C.C.). Nommé soldat de première classe, René Nus est conducteur de char dans la 2ième compagnie du B.M.I.C.C.. Il y retrouve son frère Georges Nus qui s'est également engagé dans les troupes coloniales et qui poursuivra sa carrière militaire en Indochine. Son contrat de 4 ans se terminant, il se réengage pour 3 ans en décembre 1941 puis de nouveau pour 3 ans en décembre 1944. En septembre 1942, la médaille d'Outre Mer sans agrafe lui sera décernée par le Général commandant les troupes françaises en Chine. Ce second séjour en Chine qui se termine prématurément en juin 1946 sera pour René Nus une période de sa vie à la fois la plus heureuse et la plus difficile. Il rencontrera, en effet, mademoiselle Sie Ly Ying qui deviendra son épouse en Mai 1946 et vivra les événements tragiques de la guerre sino-japonaise (1937-1945), en particulier l'invasion et l'occupation japonaise de Shanghai.

La restitution en mars 1946 de la concession française à la Chine marque également la dissolution du B.M.I.C.C. Les troupes françaises sont alors en partie rapatriées et René Nus, son épouse et leurs 3 enfants nés à Shanghai embarquent pour Saigon en juin 1946 sur le croiseur français Tourville puis regagnent la Métropole le 8 août 1946 sur le paquebot transport de troupe, Pasteur. Le 25 août 1946, ils débarquent à Toulon et rejoignent temporairement le domicile de Berthe Tribouley à Nancy. La famille dont seul René parle le Français, s'installe ensuite à Maxéville et René termine son dernier contrat d'engagement avec l'armée le 10 janvier 1948 en tant que Caporal chef au 3ième Bataillon d'Infanterie Coloniale (B.I.C.) à Versailles. Il travaillera ensuite pour la fabrique « Chaussures André » de Nancy puis la « Manufacture des Tabacs » de Nancy. De l'union de René Nus et de Sie Ly Ying dont le prénom francisé fut Anna, sont nés 11 enfants. René et Anna garderont de leurs séjours en Chine de nombreux souvenirs en particulier des photos de Shanghai et des cartes postales de Chine dont une partie est publiée sur le site Internet de l'Institut d'Asie Orientale de Lyon (I.A.O.). René Nus est décédé le 6 janvier 1983 à l'âge de 69 ans.

(Author: Patrice Nus)

Images from this Photographer (88 results)

A view of Shanghai at night
[id:32770]

A view of Shanghai in fire (Zhabei)
[id:32771]

A view of Shanghai in fire at night
[id:32769]

A view of Shanghai in fire at night (Zhabei)
[id:32746]

A view of the French Park in the French Concession (今復興公園)
[id:32810]

Advertising leaflet for the Japanese Takaoka Shop (curio shop) 高崗洋行 東洋美術雜貨商
[id:32808]

Advertising leaflet for the Young Photo Studio 英明照相馆
[id:32856]

Bible women (South China) [postcard]
[id:32818]

Bombed neighborhood in Shanghai
[id:32806]

British soldiers
[id:32761]

Canton Baptist Academy [postcard]
[id:32822]

Chapel and church-goers in Canton area [postcard]
[id:32828]

Chinese junk [postcard]
[id:32816]

Chinese soldiers in fighting position
[id:32803]

Chinese soldiers in the battlefield
[id:32768]

Chinese temple in a river [postcard]
[id:32838]

Chinese woman in long dress
[id:32865]

Chinese women in long dress
[id:32864]

Corpses in the street
[id:32755]

Countryside around Shanghai
[id:32862]

Courtyard of the Ng Tsuen monastery (Canton - Guangzhou) [postcard]
[id:32811]

Decapitated body in the street (graphic)
[id:32752]

Dragon Boat Festival [postcard]
[id:32847]

French Soldiers BMICC (Bataillon Mixte d'Infanterie Coloniale de Chine)
[id:32861]

Funeral procession [postcard] 葬禮
[id:32817]

Great World bombing: a soldier slips on the bloodied street (graphic)
[id:32751]

Great World bombing: piled up corpses (graphic)
[id:32756]

Great World bombing: piled up corpses (graphic)
[id:32757]

Great World bombing: piled up corpses (graphic)
[id:32758]

Great World bombing: removal of corpses (graphic)
[id:32762]

Great World bombing: removal of corpses (graphic)
[id:32763]

Great World bombing: statue in a nearby temple
[id:32764]

Group photo of BMICC (Bataillon Mixte d'Infanterie Coloniale de Chine)
[id:32858]

Imperial canal in Yunnan [postcard]
[id:32831]

Japanese military march near the French Concession
[id:32747]

Japanese military parade
[id:32799]

Japanese military parade near the French Concession
[id:32765]

Japanese military parade near the French Concession
[id:32766]

Japanese military parade: music band
[id:32800]

Japanese soldiers behind sandbags protection
[id:32802]

Japanese soldiers in the battlefield
[id:32748]

Japanese soldiers in the battlefield
[id:32767]

Letter from the Uptown Theater 平安大戲院信封
[id:32857]

Longhua Pagoda [postcard]
[id:32826]

Mountain view from the Yunnan railway [postcard]
[id:32829]

Mountain view from the Yunnan railway [postcard]
[id:32830]

Mountain view from the Yunnan railway [postcard]
[id:32832]

Nanking Road bombing
[id:32760]

Nanking Road bombing: SMP Policeman on rescue
[id:32801]

Night view of Nanking Road [postcard] 南京路夜景
[id:32812]

Peasant and buffalos in Shanghai outskirts [postcard]
[id:32825]

René Nus, BMICC (Bataillon Mixte d'Infanterie Coloniale de Chine) in a Shanghai Street
[id:32860]

René Nus, BMICC (Bataillon Mixte d'Infanterie Coloniale de Chine) in the Mallet Police Station
[id:32859]

Rickshaw puller [postcard]
[id:1686]

River scene at Canton [postcard]
[id:32819]

Rue du Consulat [postcard] 公馆马路
[id:32851]

Shanghai residents waiting for boarding to leave Shanghai
[id:32804]

Ships at the mouth of the Yangzi River
[id:32759]

Snow on the Willow Pattern Tea House and the nine-curve bridge in Nanshi [postcard]
[id:32833]

Stone Lion in the Yuyuan Garden [postcard]
[id:32834]

Tea shop
[id:32807]

The Garden Bridge and Public Gardens on the Bund [postcard] 上海外滩公园
[id:32855]

The Great World amusement center [postcard]
[id:32815]

The Lingying Temple in Hangzhou [postcard]
[id:32809]

The old examination stalls at Canton [postcard]
[id:32820]

The Public Gardens on the Bund [postcard] 上海外滩公园
[id:32854]

The war memorial on the Bund [postcard] 第一世界战争纪念碑
[id:32846]

The war memorial on the Bund [postcard] 第一世界战争纪念碑
[id:32852]

The war memorial on the Bund [postcard] 第一世界战争纪念碑
[id:32853]

The Willow Pattern Tea House and the nine-curve bridge in Nanshi [postcard]
[id:32824]

Tower of driving rain in the Yuyuan Garden [postcard]
[id:32835]

U.S. Marines on duty for the protection of the International Settlement
[id:32805]

View of a temple in Jianding [postcard]
[id:32839]

View of Nanking Road [postcard] 南京路
[id:32840]

View of Nanking Road [postcard] 南京路
[id:32843]

View of Soochow Creek [postcard] 蘇州河
[id:32814]

View of the Bund from Pudong [postcard] 上海外滩
[id:32841]

View of the Bund [postcard] 上海外滩
[id:32845]

View of the Bund [postcard] 上海外滩
[id:32848]

View of the Bund [postcard] 上海外滩
[id:32850]

View of the French Bund [postcard] 上海外滩
[id:32842]

View of the French Consulate [postcard] 法国总领事馆
[id:32849]

View of the Longhua Pagoda and surrounding countryside [postcard]
[id:32837]

View of the Park Hotel from the racecourse
[id:32844]

Village scene in Shanghai area [postcard]
[id:32827]

Warships in the Huangpu River [postcard]
[id:32821]

Westerner, ox, and straw-covered coffin in the countryside around Shanghai
[id:32863]

Wheelbarrows and wheelbarrow pullers [postcard]
[id:32813]
... ...
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