Civilian living in France
Birth place – Vila Facaia, Leiria
Birth date – 01/06/1906
Death date – 28/06/1944
Mother – Maria Avelina Coelho
Norberto Coelho worked as a logger in France and lived in Campazieux, in the commune of St. André d’Allas, where he was captured and shot by soldiers from a German military column that crossed that area on June 28, 1944.
According to the French authorities, the Germans gathered three Portuguese - Manuel das Neves, Norberto Coelho and João Fernandes de Barros - and forced them “to a nearby forest”. Shortly after, shots were heard.
Only the next day did the tenant from two of them felt safe to leave the house. In the woods the shot bodies from the Portuguese were found. Nearby was also the body of a Dutchman - M. Siebrugh - who also lived in the village.
The Portuguese may have been stolen by the Germans. Norberto Coelho's house was looted and only 320 francs were found in a wallet. French authorities believe that much more was stolen from both him and Manuel das Neves - as they both shared the same house. Money was also stolen from João Fernandes de Barros.
The Allied D-Day landing had taken place just weeks before and several German columns advanced through France to face them. These troops were also being engaged by groups of French resistance while they were also attacking and looting civilians.
The bodies were buried in the Saint André d'Allas cemetery.
Norberto Coelho's mother was Maria Avelino Coelho Pinheiro, living in Bolim, Lameira, in Figueiró dos Vinhos.
In France, like the other Portuguese, he worked as a lumberjack at the Societé d’Explotations Forestiéres.
Arquivo Histórico-Diplomático, MNE §