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Remembered Today:

Provisional itinerary for a Bury Grammar School October 2015 tour


Mark Hone

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Here is my provisional itinerary for the 22nd annual BGSB tour 'Fields of Fire'

Day One: Last Absolution of the Munsters memorial, 1/4th Seaforths and 2/2nd Gurkha attack at Aubers Ridge, Neuve Chappelle Indian Memorial, Le Touret Memorial (old boy John Whittam), Brown's Road Cemetery, Festubert ( grave of old boy Harold Barlow), site of abortive 1915 Christmas Truce

Day Two: Hooge preserved trenches, museum and Hooge Crater Cemetery ( description of German flammenwerfer attack in which two old boys were involved), Ypres, Yorkshire trench site and new visitor centre, Talbot House, La Brique No 2 Cemetery ( grave of old boy Phillip Holmes).

Day Three: St Mary's ADS Cemetery, Loos Museum and Double Crassier, Dud Corner Memorial and Cemetery, Notre Dame de Lorette, Cabaret Rouge Cemetery ( grave of old boy Harry Ratcliffe)

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Sounds good, I'm sure it will be another excellent visit

Michelle

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I must admit that I'm a little concerned that I'm trying to pack too much into the third day, particularly as we have to get back to Zeebrugge by 5pm. I would do the Ypres area on the Monday but unfortunately Talbot House is closed and we particularly wanted to go in its centenary year.

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You will find that there is now a layby between the Indian Memorial and the Portuguese cemetery at La Bombe, which is quite useful. have a look in the earth dug up for the footings....lots of interesting stuff in the mud there!

I am delighted that so done is going to Festubert, since I can't find anything being done to mark the centenary of the battle there, and Southport, which adopted the village in 1920, is trying hard to ignore the fact, despite there being a Southport Memorial Hall there. You might also like to stop, just for a moment, at the car park in front of the church in the village to look at the war memorial. it is unremarkable in many respects, listing men from the village who died in the war, but also on the right hand side giving mention of the British heroes who also died for right and liberty.

If I remember correctly, near the front of Browns Road CWGC, there is also a headstone upon which there is no room for a cross. the reason being that the mans titles and names, listed in their entirety, just about fill the headstone. Worth having a chuckle at!

Bruce

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Soinds like a good trip again Mark. Are you going a little earlier in October than usual?

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Thanks for the advice, folks. We shall be laying a wreath at Brown's Road to Corporal Harold Barlow of the Civil Service Rifles, who died on 17th May 1915. We haven't visited his grave on any previous tours.

Yes, we have started going earlier in October. Like other schools in the area we've moved to a two week October half term. As we go on the trip over the first weekend of the half term the effect of that has been to push us a week earlier- this year we set off on 17th October rather than 24th as we would have done a few years ago.

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Why go to Aubers Ridge, then up to Hooge, only to go back south to Loos. Why not do Loos, Aubers and then Hooge, and you would be nearer Zeebrugge that way. It may mean missing Toc H though. Since the group is from Bury, what about the 55th West Lancs Divisional Memorial near to Givenchy, which the 2/5th Lancs Fusiliers, which had many lads from Bury area in it. There is also a link to the Bury area at Le Touret, with a soldier mentionned in the display at Ramsbottom library being buried there.

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There is method in my madness. The idea is to do things roughly chronologically to tell the story of 1915. The first day covers the fighting at Aubers Ridge and Festubert in which three BGS old boys died: Harry Ratcliffe and John Whittam in 1/4th Seaforths at Aubers Ridge, Harold Barlow at Festubert. Whittam is commemorated on Le Touret. Second day covers Hooge where old boy Denis Lauria of 8th KRRC was killed and Philip Holmes of 9th KRRC wrote a first hand account of the fighting. Then to canal bank area where Captain William Appleby, an original BGS cadet from 1892 was blinded in July 1915. We take part at Menin Gate that night. Third day covers Peachment VC at Loos and visits Harry Ratcliffe's grave at Cabaret Rouge as well as Notre Dame. I know it seems a bit convoluted but a broadly similar itinerary worked in 2005.

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