Jump to content

Remembered Today:

Serre 2016


Grandpacarr
 Share

Recommended Posts

Hello,

I am looking for some help/information. I along with my wife hope to attend the 2016 Commemorations at Serre/Sheffield Park. If anyone out there will be attending the above area in time for the Commemorations and could take 2 passengers, I would like to hear from them, we will help out with all the costs involved in traveling. I can`t drive over myself now as I am disabled. I need to sort out any travel plans asap as the area will very soon have no accommodation left.

I would also consider any Guided tours to the area at that time as I could always get a cab over to the site on the day.

Any help would be really appreciated. I would like to go to the area as my Grandfather fought in that battle on 1st July.

Regards Andy.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Andy

I would try Leger Tours or similar companies. as you say there will be a high demand for accomodation.

One other point to consider, will your disability affect your having to walk up the slope to Sheffield Memorial Park from the D919 or maybe even further afield, as I can only imagine that there will be severe traffic restrictions.

I attended the 1st July ceremonies in 2003 and the nearest I could get a place to stay was Bethune !

What will the whole area be like on the 100th anniversary ?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

H

Andy

I would try Leger Tours or similar companies. as you say there will be a high demand for accomodation.

One other point to consider, will your disability affect your having to walk up the slope to Sheffield Memorial Park from the D919 or maybe even further afield, as I can only imagine that there will be severe traffic restrictions.

I attended the 1st July ceremonies in 2003 and the nearest I could get a place to stay was Bethune !

What will the whole area be like on the 100th anniversary ?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hello Peter,

Many thanks for your reply to my request, for information regarding travel to the Serre Battlefields on the morning of 1st July 2016.

I was hoping to be able to get over to Sheffield ,to attend the Centenary Commemoration Ceremony's for the brave men of the Northern Pals Regiments.

My dear old Granddad went over the top on that morning. He did fortunately for me survive the attack although very badly wounded, he got what was termed at that time "a Blighty wound" he did recover from his wounds but was deemed as unfit for front line duties, so he was transferred to the Royal Horse Artillery "O" Battalion working on the Ammunition Columns to bring up the Guns and Ammunition up to the front line another very dangerous job as the fellows were regularly in the range of the Enemy`s guns especially when working in the Ypres Salient.

He did unfortunately suffer the effects of two Gas attacks and was hospitalised on both occasions, that was to make him suffer terribly in his later life when I can remember him taking over an hour just to walk the quarter of a mile walk into town, he was gasping for air every few feet he walked because the linings of his lungs were badly damaged, It was that damage that unfortunately ended his life too early.

Thank you Peter for the suggestion of using "Legers Battlefield Tours". I have actually very recently returned home after a 5 day tour of their " All Quiet on the Western Front" Battlefield Tour. I was left very disappointed with the tour. The Brochure stated quite clearly that we would be visiting the Serre Battlefield, that was the only reason that we booked the tour, as I am disabled and can`t drive myself anymore, I felt if was the best opportunity I had of visiting the place my Granddad had fought.

The first 4 days of the tour were very good indeed, could not fault at all the drivers and Battlefield Guide. We visited all the usual places one would wish to visit, Tyne Cot Cemetery, The Messines Ridge, Polkapelle and Ploegsteert and the ceremony at the Menin Gate which surprised me in that the number of people attending the ceremony was certainly quite a few thousand, and when I was last there back in the 1970`s there was in the region of around 25 people. We also visited the Somme Museum at P`eronne and the Lochnagar Crater, a very interesting visit to the Wellington Quarries near Arras was included, the preserved trench systems at Hill 62 and Vimy Ridge and of course the Somme Memorial at Thiepval.

We then headed out to Serre looking at the famous Sunken Road on the way, on arrival at Serre Road Cemetery the guide told the story of the Pals regiments who were decimated on that morning.The coach then headed off leaving me absolutely devastated having finally got there and not being able to get out if only to take a few photos and pay my respects to the Pals laid to rest in the cemetery in front of the Coach. I had even mentioned previously to the Guide that the visit to Serre was my only reason for being on the tour.

What made things even worse for me was that about 10 mins down the road after leaving Serre the coach stopped at a small memorial to the Tank Regiment and the Guide told us we could get off to take Photos, Less than 5 peoples did so. Later on people were complaining that we should have been allowed to at least take a few photos of the place where a major British attack had taken place.

All I managed was two Photos taken though the coach windows as we left.

Could I please ask if anyone out there has any Photographs of the area they are willing to share on this site I would be delighted to see them.

This upset has made me more than ever determined to get to the Battlefield before my health problems stop me completely.

I now do not think it will be possible for me to attend the Centenary Celebrations but hope to do the Journey at some stage.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Could I please ask if anyone out there has any Photographs of the area they are willing to share on this site I would be delighted to see them.

This upset has made me more than ever determined to get to the Battlefield before my health problems stop me completely.

I now do not think it will be possible for me to attend the Centenary Celebrations but hope to do the Journey at some stage.

Hi Andy,

That's a real shame, that you didn't get what you were looking for from the tour.

I've got lots of photos of the Serre area - was there anywhere in particular that you were looking for photographs of? If you send me a message with your email I can send them over to you.

I'm probably going to be there at the weekend, so can take some more for you if you need a particular area that I don't have pictures of. Do you know where your Grandad was wounded? If you can pinpoint it (and I'm sure there's plenty of people on the forum who will help!), I'll try to get some pictures of the exact location as it looks today.

Damien

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Andy.

I'm posting a photograph taken from an aircraft looking down on John's Copse at Serre. I think it must have been taken prior to 1st July as Nairn trench is still visible. I have overlayed this photograph on a Google map of John's Copse today. I've had to crop it quite a lot to get it to the right size to fit here. If you want the full job email me and I'll send it. Can you tell us which battalion your grandfather was in. Dave

post-55251-0-52661000-1406826063_thumb.j

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Andy.

I'm posting a photograph taken from an aircraft looking down on John's Copse at Serre. I think it must have been taken prior to 1st July as Nairn trench is still visible. I have overlayed this photograph on a Google map of John's Copse today. I've had to crop it quite a lot to get it to the right size to fit here. If you want the full job email me and I'll send it. Can you tell us which battalion your grandfather was in. Dave

Dave - I'd appreciate a full sized copy of that overlay if possible. My e-mail is >

famousraider

AT

btinternet.com

Tom

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Andy,

I understand your disappointment but you can't expect from a coach tour a "personalised tour" to the sites that are very significant to you (and not so much or less to the others). The Leger Tours are known for the high quality of their tours and guides, I understand that you booked this tour to visit specifically the Serre area, I don't want to offend you but I think you should have booked a personalised or a Private Tour instead in order to get the most of your visit to Serre. If you don't drive there are many companies or guides offering these sort of tours starting from the UK or based in the Somme who could have helped you.

Sly

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...