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Remembered Today:

Fantastic week on the Somme - pics


mmckay395
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Last Saturday I departed for a week in Peronne.

After much deliberating I had set my hopelessly optimistic itinerary and although I didn't fit in everything I had planned it was still a jam packed week of walks, tours and driving.

On the Sunday I spent most of the day at Gommecourt which I had wanted to visit since reading Alan MacDonald's book on the 46th Division attack there. I used the appendix in his book as a guide.

Starting at Gommecourt British Cemetery we drove up to Rosignol Wood and point 147 behind the village. Then we drove on to the front of Pigeon Wood, then to the front of the village past Gommecourt Wood.

I was surprised just how close the front lines actually were. The British lines run from just in front of pylons which run between Gommecourt and Fonquevillers (just behind the British lines) with the German lines being about 200yards in front of the Wood.

From Gommecourt we drove down to Serre where we did the walk in Paul Reed's Walking the Somme.

Monday was an early start as I had arranged a tour of the Loos battlefield with Gilles from Dud Corner in Loos. He gave an excellent tour of the memorial and the memorial before driving us up the double crassier to look over the battlefield. For anyone visiting Loos it's well worth getting in touch with him ( I believe he is a member on the forum)

After the tour we drove up to the Hohenzollern Redoubt which I finally found after some increasingly frantic navigation.

We then did a driving tour of the Bullecourt walk in Walking Arras.

On Tuesday I had arranged a tour of Thiepval Wood from Ulster Tower - again this was very good as you see the excavation work going on in the wood. We then walked from Auchonvillers to Hawthorn Redoubt, saw the crater and then on to the sunken lane and the spot where Malin shot the mine being blown from.

After this we walked around Newfoundland Memorial Park although by this time it was too late for one of the guided tours. Another excellent day.

Wednesday started a bit slower with a visit to the excellent museum in Peronne in the morning. We then drove to La Boiselle and saw Lochnagar. We then drove to Ovillers and walked from there to Pozieres which IMO is the best walk in Paul Reed's book. You can see just how important Pozieres was when you reach the village and look back, you can see the entire approach to the village from Ovillers.

Thursday was a tiring, but extremely worthwhile day of walking. Parking at the Quarry Cemetery near Montauban we walked across the fields to Longueval and onto Delville Wood. We then walked back to the cemetery.

In the afternoon we drove to Bazentin le Petit and walked to High Wood finding a few bits of shell splinters and a shrapnel ball along the way on the side of the road.

Friday was a bit of a frantic day trying to fit everything in I hadn't seen which I wanted to. We parked just outside of Ginchy and walked to Flers before visiting the AIF cemetery. We then did a driving tour of Le Sars and the attacks towards the Butte de Warlencourt and walking up the butte. We then drove to Fricourt where I did a shortened version of the walk in Walking the Somme. I also visited the German cemetery at Fricourt. (See photo below)

As the daylight was beginning to fade we crammed in a quick trip to Trones Wood.

Saturday was the last day but I still managed to fit in a quick stop at the Thiepval visitors centre before heading back for our ferry.

It was a fantastic trip and I now feel to need to buy as many Battleground Europe books as possible as I'm certain these are the best guides as well as trench maps - and almost certainly a newer car for my next trip as 1050 miles is a lot for my W reg Polo to handle.

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Among the neat lawns, white stone and yellow roses, it is hard to imagine the misery and carnage those brave men endured.

Looks like you had a great trip.

Regards,

LF

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fantastic photos, i love the contrast of the roses and headstones

well done

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Great photos. Could I ask where the cemetery is in the photo prior to the Thiepval Woods shot & how did you get such an unusual aspect? A truely fantastic shot

Cheers

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Really nice photo of the headstone of Private Harry Thorpe, 1st Battalion Royal Scots Fusiliers. Thanks,

Forum members will remember the attack on the 13th November 1916 because it was then that the 51st Division took Beaumont Hamel, but alas the 3rd Division on their left failed to take Serre, and suffered heavy casualties including Harry Thorpe. (He was a Manchester lad, reminding us that at least a third of the men of the two regular battalions (1st and 2nd) of the Royal Scots Fusiliers were recruited in England)..

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It's not just me is it? The sign is supposed to say Caterpillar Valley, isn't it?

Steve.

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No its not just you Steve

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Thanks for sharing your photos

What a good idea to show 'now and then' on Hawthorne Mine

Regards..Colin

I concur, was gonna congratulate you on that as well.

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Terry

Either use links to an external site like Flickr/Photobucket or resize them all to below 250kb and then add them in separate posts. If they are posted quickly enough, the forum software combines them into a single post.

Glen

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Great photos. Could I ask where the cemetery is in the photo prior to the Thiepval Woods shot & how did you get such an unusual aspect? A truely fantastic shot

Cheers

Dud Corner at Loos, there is an observation platform which gives great views of the battlefields, I can spot Lone Tree in the photo.

Michelle

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.......... I can spot Lone Tree in the photo.

Michelle

Don't start that again! :whistle:

Steve.

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Is that a new sign for Caterpillar Valley ? I must have seen that sign dozens of times and never noticed the spello before. :doh:

Dave

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Don't start that again! :whistle:

Steve.

:w00t:

Michelle

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Great photos. Could I ask where the cemetery is in the photo prior to the Thiepval Woods shot & how did you get such an unusual aspect? A truely fantastic shot

Cheers

Hi Chester,

This is the Dud Corner and Loos Memorial on the road coming out of Loos towards Bethune I believe. There are some steps which lead up to the platform and you can see right across the battlefield. This was part of the tour forum member Gilles (I think that's right) was leading.

Anyone going to Loos should get in touch with him.

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Thanks for all your replies folks. It was a fantastic trip, although my girlfriend probably deserves a medal for trapesing around everywhere with my while I wave my hands across fields in the distance trying to explain where trench lines ran.

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Michelle & mmckay, thanks for letting me know. Yet another place to pencil into my 'must visit' book!!

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