A young family bought an old house and planned to fix it up. They found a secret room that hadn’t been used in 102 years while they were remodeling. What was that hidden thing, and why were they shocked?

A French family didn’t know they were opening a door to the past when they bought a house in the village of Belabre in the southwest of the country.

The house from the middle of the 1800s had been empty for six years before it was bought by a young family in 2020. As they started to fix up the house, they found a secret room that was blocked off with bricks. They were miraculously taken back in time when they broke the stone. Things in the room were more than one hundred years old.

A uniform jacket was on a stand in the middle of the room, which was seen by the owners. It looked almost brand new, even though moths had already eaten it. Guns, plates, an ashtray, and old photos were some of the interesting things that were found on the table.

Also there was a bottle with dirt in it. It said, “The land of Flanders, where our son Hubert Rochereau rested for four years.” The notes from the previous owner of this room were on the bed, and there was a big picture of a young man in uniform above it. The new owners didn’t know who Hubert Rochereau was.

He was a lieutenant in the French army during the First World War, it turned out. In 1915, he went to the front. After three years of war, Hubert died on the fields of what is now Belgium. He was 22 years old. At first, he was buried on the battlefield, but in 1922, his body was moved to the town where he was born.

They decided they would never go back into Hubert’s room, so they put bricks in the way of it. They promised the general it would not be broken when they sold the house to him in 1935.

After the general died, his children and grandchildren lived in the house for 70 years. In 2014, the last person who owned the house died. Then the building was put up for sale.

It was a secret to the new owners that the practice had been going on for 100 years. Now, though, they want to make Hubert Rochereau’s room into a museum.

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