Société

Albert Grail : le Stéphanois oublié du débarquement

Par Sandrine Morin, France Bleu Saint-Étienne Loire mercredi 4 juin 2014 à 20:36

Albert Grail avec Lucien Neuwirth le 12 avril 1986 lors de la remise de la Légion d'Honneur
Albert Grail avec Lucien Neuwirth le 12 avril 1986 lors de la remise de la Légion d'Honneur © Radio France - Sandrine Morin

Il y a soixante-dix ans, le 6 juin, les Alliés débarquent en Normandie. La France et le monde entier commémore cette page de l'histoire. Parmi les milliers de soldats des forces alliés : 177 français du Commando Kieffer dont un Altiligérien qui a vécu la grande partie de sa vie à Saint-Étienne.

Un héros oublié

Albert Grail est né en 1921 à Saint-Pal de Mons, près de Firminy, et mort en 2003 à Saint-Didier-en-Velay. Ce héros a totalement été oublié dans la Loire et la Haute-Loire mais a une stèle à son nom sur la plage de Riva Bella, à Ouistreham (Calvados). C’est la plage où ont débarqué les177 soldats du Commando Kieffer. Ils ont d'abord libéré un casino tenu par les Allemands. Albert Grail avait alors 23 ans, et fait le tour du monde pour pouvoir libérer la France au péril de sa vie. Ce héros a été oublié chez nous mais il a pourtant reçu la Légion d'honneur des mains de Lucien Neuwirth le 12 avril 1986. Seule l'amicale des Cols Bleus (des marins) de Saint-Étienne entretient tant bien que mal sa mémoire.  

Une vie d’aventures

Ceux qui ont connu Albert Grail le décrivent comme un homme d'action. En 1940, il s'est engagé volontairement dans la Marine et s'est retrouvé en Martinique. Mias il a décidé très vite de rejoindre la France Libre et fuît avec deux collègues sur une pirogue pour rejoindre l'ile britannique de Sainte-Lucie. L’embarcation a tourné en rond pendant des jours. C'est un bateau américain qui les a recueilli. Mais les américains testèrent le Ligérien avant de le prendre à leurs côtés. Il a fait quasi le tour du monde dans un cargo de munition, arriva alors en Afrique du Sud et c'est de là qu'il a rejoint l'Angleterre sur le Queen-Mary. Là bas, l'entraînement fut rude. Albert Grail s'est alors battu pour faire partie des quelques Français du Commando Kieffer qui libéreront la France. Le 27 juillet, il fut blessé mais à peine rétabli, il participa le 1er novembre 44 au débarquement de Walkeren en Belgique. Après la guerre, il quitta l'armée mais chercha encore et toujours l'aventure. Il travailla en Afrique dans les forages pétroliers.

Kieffer je kiffe PAP

Albert Grail : héros discret du 6 juin 44  - Radio France
Albert Grail : héros discret du 6 juin 44 © Radio France - Sandrine Morin

« Je suis heureux d'avoir risqué ma vie ce jour là pour vivre cette épreuve »

Ce sont quasiment les seuls mots qui restent de Albert Grail sur le 6 juin 44. Un héros oublié à tel point qu'en 1970 quand il demande sa carte d'ancien combattant, elle lui est refusée. L'erreur est réparée quelques années plus tard. En 1986, Lucien Neuwirth lui remet alors en même temps la Légion d'honneur. Le 6 juin, le maître principal de réserve Daniel Riuz, instructeur pour la marine à Saint-Étienne, va aller se receuillir sur la tombe de Albert Grail.

KIEFFER je kiffe SON

 

 

 

[

<img src="data:image/jpeg;base64, /9j/4AAQSkZJRgABAQEASABIAAD/2wBDAAMCAgMCAgMDAwMEAwMEBQgFBQQEBQoHBwYIDAoMDAsKCwsNDhIQDQ4RDgsLEBYQERMUFRUVDA8XGBYUGBIUFRT/2wBDAQMEBAUEBQkFBQkUDQsNFBQUFBQUFBQUFBQUFBQUFBQUFBQUFBQUFBQUFBQUFBQUFBQUFBQUFBQUFBQUFBQUFBT/wgARCAGQAlgDAREAAhEBAxEB/8QAFQABAQAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAj/xAAUAQEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA/9oADAMBAAIQAxAAAAGigAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAf/8QAFBABAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAsP/aAAgBAQABBQJqb//EABQRAQAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAALD/2gAIAQMBAT8Bam//xAAUEQEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAACw/9oACAECAQE/AWpv/8QAFBABAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAsP/aAAgBAQAGPwJqb//EABQQAQAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAALD/2gAIAQEAAT8ham//2gAMAwEAAgADAAAAEJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJP//EABQRAQAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAALD/2gAIAQMBAT8Qam//xAAUEQEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAACw/9oACAECAQE/EGpv/8QAFBABAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAsP/aAAgBAQABPxBqb//Z " data-dejavu-src="https://www.francebleu.fr/s3/cruiser-production/2014/06/f3d43943-ebd5-11e3-a580-005056a87fa3/860_dossier-debarquement.jpg" class="dejavu" alt="DOSSIER débarquement d-day" itemprop="contentUrl" width="619" />
](http://www.francebleu.fr/infos/70e-anniversaire-du-debarquement-934762#articles)

Albert Grail héros du 6 juin oublié à Saint-Etienne : Sandrine Morin