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... destination tonight is Lille, France which is just over the border from Belgium and in the middle of the Somme where heavy fighting in WW1 cost hundreds of thousands of Australian lives.
On the way to Lille we stopped of in Antwerp in Belgium where we relived some great memories of our last visit here in 2010. On that visit we were befriended by a true gentleman who Kate and ...
... pointed out on the SW panorama is the Messines (Mesen) Ridge, where Dad's older brother, Cyril, was "mentioned in dispatches" for his work as a stretcher bearer, while under enemy fire, along with three other lads from Morecambe in his Regiment in 1915. (Cyril also survived the War and went back to his old job at the Morecambe weekly newspaper). From Hill 62 we drove west to Poperinge, which was just far enough from the front to be mainly safe from German ...
~ May 13, 1940
The Beizer family left with thousands of other Belgian refugees toward Northern France. In the video clip "Dunkirk," Boris describes this process as the refugees being "herded" by German Stuka Bombers to stay on the road in order to slow down British troop movement in the opposite direction. The journey from Brussels to Dunkirk took about two days. Boris also recounts ...
... as I was leaving, it took me nearly 15 minutes to clear the highrises.
It was a nice little back country drive to Diksmuide but I was far too late to visit the museum there. The tower was mightily impressive on its own though. I had an excellent dinner at a local restaurant where the staff were so friendly and nice (so different from the French) and I was treated to a fabulous sunset as I ...
... human nature that were forged out of this horrific episode in history. Families and nations across the world would certainly appreciate the efforts made in France and Belgium to remember. After not knowing a great deal about WW1 beforehand, I certainly felt humbled and hugely appreciated experiencing these important sites with our wonderful group of kids and teachers.
Next installment – the more light hearted parts of the camp!