Captain-commander Pierre-Franz De Coene was born in Munkzwalm on February 12, 1896. He had a carefree childhood in Munkzwalm in and around the parental farm in Wafelstraat. However, the tide turned on August 6, 1915, when he was called up to provide assistance to the Belgian troops behind the Yser. He performed his task honourably, was praised by his superiors after the Great War and became an adjutant.
De Coene married Jeanne Depière. The couple settled in Ghent and had three children. Everything went well for him professionally: he became captain-commander, at that time the highest position a soldier of ordinary descent could obtain. However, during the Second World War, disaster struck: De Coene and his battalion were taken prisoner of war and transferred to a concentration camp. In October 1941 he was sent back to Belgium for health reasons, where he immediately reported to the Secret Army.
De Coene also made a career within the Secret Army but was forced to go into hiding in 1944. De Coene visited the parental farm in Munkzwalm to say goodbye to his family. After betrayal, he was taken from his bed in the early morning and transferred to prison in Ghent. He succumbed to torture four days after his arrest.