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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Albert


angelab

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I mentioned this in a recent post - but as the subject of that thread was "Ieper" I thought it might get overlooked by people going to the Somme.

I happened to be looking at the website for Albert tourist office the other day, and noticed that last year, once a week during July and August, you could buy a ticket to go up the tower of the Albert basilica church for a view over the battlefields. Don't know if any of you has done this, but it sounds as if it might be interesting.

In 2010 the details were:

July and August, Tuesday, 3pm. Tickets 3 euros from Albert tourist office.

Here's their email if anyone needs to check opening details, or to book: officedetourisme@paysducoquelicot.com/

Angela

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Thanks for that Angela

Will make sure we try and take advantage of that. As you can see the basilica from so many places around the battlefields it should mean that you can see a great deal of the battlefields

Kind regards

John

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Don't lean over!

cheers Martin B

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Just a bit of trivia for you.

As"leaning over" on the top of the basilica is mentioned in this thread.

Who was Fanny Durack, & why should I post her name here?

Regards

John

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just a guess, and w/o googling. Was sher the model for the leaning virgin?

cheers Martin B

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Don't lean over!

cheers Martin B

I'm on my way with the wire rope..!!

Rob.

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Gents,

"Fanny" Durack was a famous Ausralian swimmer in the early part of the 20th Century. Her link with Albert derives from her fame among the Diggers: the statue of the Virgin Mary on top of the steeple of the Albert Basilica had been damaged by German shell-fire and was leaning forward towards the square below. Australian soldiers passing through Albert on their way to the front lines nick-named the statue after Fanny because it resembled someone taking a dive into the pool. Some dry Digger humour there!

I also believe there was some other "legend" associated with the leaning statue in that the war would end when it finally fell off the steeple, but soemone else may have a better interpertation of that part of the story.

A swimming pool in Marrickville, in Sydney NSW was named after her.

Below is a link that explains a bit more about her life, sporting achievements and her support of the women's suffragette movement:

http://www.marrickvi...nny_durack.html

Regards,

Black

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Black, the 'legend' is correct. IIRC, the statue finally fell during the German offensives of 1918.

Robert

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I thought it was taken down by British engineers rather than actually falling of its own accord

cheers Martin B

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Well done BLACK, your spot on.

The statue came down in 1918 when the British were forcing the Germans back out of the town following their gains during the spring offensive.

Regards

John

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Was up at the top of the basilica a few years back, there was scafolding and it was shaky as was myself, but the view is great well worth the the climb.

Dan

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