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... Of approximately 3 million men in the line during that period, 1.2 million were killed, wounded or missing in action.
(The French also fought on the far south end of the line at the Somme, but their presence was limited due to the German attack at Verdun, which led France to her own private hell to match the British hell at the Somme.)
We set out on Tuesday June 30th (high temperature hit about 95 that day) first to ...
... the Canal du Nord, headed for the Somme, and hoping we managed to stay out of trouble with the big guys!
It has been instructive to share the waterways with these guys, but I have gotten a bit tired of rocking and rolling when tied up and they go lumbering by at fast speed. Or even not fast speed, they still toss us around a bit. I reckon we will see a lot more of them this year, but I’m happy for now to be on the Somme, where all is pretty quiet. ...
... up with her as she drove ahead of us to the Memorial.
Unfortunately the school was closed and this is where the Franco-Australian museum is situated so we visited the memorial and also that of Le Hamel.
VB is a huge memorial with thousands of names of soldiers whose bodies have never been found. Apparently if their bones are located and proven by DNA then their name is erased and they are buried. From the top ...
We then headed to our overnight stay in a former farm in Bayonvillers, which is just east of Villers Bretonneux- in complete contrast to our last few nights in Brugge!
It was from here that we explored the region that my other grandfather Roy Martin fought in, near the end of WWI.
And that is the subject of my last blog on WWI.....
... on, that there are still explosives, tunnels and mines strewn across the country. By 6pm we were headed back to Arras to catch the train back to Paris.
Despite the weather it was a worthwhile day that I can highly recommend. For our family, some photos of the grave of Grandma's Uncle Alex are on my facebook page, as I can't upload larger images onto Travel Pod. I am sure you will see more when we return home as well.