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Remembered Today:

Ypres to Arras and back in a day?


neverforget
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Fair play to you Michelle. To be honest, I think that I will be spending more pennies than my two younger companions, so if anyone is going to be holding up proceedings it's going to be the old man and his dicky bladder, which seems to be the only part of me that becomes more active the older I get.

Thanks for your input Nick. I'll look into the Plugstreet memorial. You're not the first to say that it's their favourite.

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Forgot to mention, but as you are going to be going so close to Vis en Artois, it would be well worth a fifteen minute stop at the Vis en Artois Memorial to the Missing, which is right by a major road and thus both easily accessible and will not cost too much time to get there. Admittedly it is for the missing of the Hundred Days in 1918, but it is a lovely memorial and not all that well visited, at least relative to some of the others.

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I'll look into the Plugstreet memorial. You're not the first to say that it's their favourite.

I've attended the monthly Last Post ceremony at Ploegsteert. So much less of a tourist thing than the Menin Gate.

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Forgot to mention, but as you are going to be going so close to Vis en Artois, it would be well worth a fifteen minute stop at the Vis en Artois Memorial to the Missing, which is right by a major road and thus both easily accessible and will not cost too much time to get there. Admittedly it is for the missing of the Hundred Days in 1918, but it is a lovely memorial and not all that well visited, at least relative to some of the others.

I've attended the monthly Last Post ceremony at Ploegsteert. So much less of a tourist thing than the Menin Gate.

Thank you both for the suggestions. I`ve looked up both memorials and added them to the list. I`m so very grateful for the tips.

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This memsahib is used to nipping behind a bush or a tree too, I can say that I have never held up a party I have been with, and I tend to travel with mostly male groups.

Michelle

ff

After regaling the family with all our stories of the western front trip, on a subsequent family reunion my beloved daughter gave everyone wonderful gifts, and I got a 'shewee' she had ordered, to take on my next trip, a bit harsh I thought. I shall continue with the time honoured way of scoping out and nipping too.

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I have one of those contraptions too Shirl, to be used in extreme emergencies at festivals!

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Thank you both for the suggestions. I`ve looked up both memorials and added them to the list. I`m so very grateful for the tips.

Are you planning to lay a wreath at the Menin Gate? It will be memorable for your family. It does not matter how many tourists or other pilgrims are there, it will be a special occasion for you. Laying a wreath also guarantees a view of the ceremony without having to get there an hour beforehand.

You can just turn up and ask to lay a wreath, but you should ask the Last Post Association. http://www.lastpost.be/en/ceremonies/participation

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Are you planning to lay a wreath at the Menin Gate? It will be memorable for your family. It does not matter how many tourists or other pilgrims are there, it will be a special occasion for you. Laying a wreath also guarantees a view of the ceremony without having to get there an hour beforehand.

You can just turn up and ask to lay a wreath, but you should ask the Last Post Association. http://www.lastpost.be/en/ceremonies/participation

I hadn`t thought of laying a wreath at the Gate to be honest, though it`s a useful piece of advice, as I will certainly be attending a Last Post ceremony. I have plans to lay one at the grave of my gt g/father at White House Cemetery, and one at the Arras Memorial where my gt uncle is remembered. In addition I intend to lay one at both sites where they were K.I.A, or at least as close as I can get. I`m toying with the idea of taking a couple of packets of seeds to scatter at these sites, but I will have to play that one by ear when I get there I think. There may well be implications that would prevent me from doing that.

Ladies. :blush: The mind boggles! I must confess to being thus far unaware of such contraptions, and I am cautiously and tentatively trying to imagine how they work, but I would assume that a certain degree of privacy would still be necessary, and so can`t see the advantage of using one. Please feel free not to explain. :)

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I hadn`t thought of laying a wreath at the Gate to be honest, though it`s a useful piece of advice, as I will certainly be attending a Last Post ceremony. I have plans to lay one at the grave of my gt g/father at White House Cemetery, and one at the Arras Memorial where my gt uncle is remembered. In addition I intend to lay one at both sites where they were K.I.A, or at least as close as I can get. I`m toying with the idea of taking a couple of packets of seeds to scatter at these sites, but I will have to play that one by ear when I get there I think. There may well be implications that would prevent me from doing that.

Do explore the idea.

The Last Post ceremony is there to to remember the soldiers of Britain and its Empire. You are on a pilgrimage rather than visiting a point of historic and architectural interest.

There is a difference between standing as a bystander and taking part, even for us battlefield guides who go there often. I took my mother, my sisters and my own family on a similar tour about ten years ago. We visited by Great uncles grave and saw where my mothers father had fought. My one regret is that I did not arrange for my mother to lay a wreath on behalf of her father and his comrades, accompanied by her grandchildren. I didn't think she would want the fuss, but in retrospect I missed the opportunity for her and my children to have that experience as part of our shared family memory.

It is quite natural to think twice about putting yourself forwards in a public event, but you won't regret it of you do.

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Do explore the idea.

The Last Post ceremony is there to to remember the soldiers of Britain and its Empire. You are on a pilgrimage rather than visiting a point of historic and architectural interest.

There is a difference between standing as a bystander and taking part, even for us battlefield guides who go there often. I took my mother, my sisters and my own family on a similar tour about ten years ago. We visited by Great uncles grave and saw where my mothers father had fought. My one regret is that I did not arrange for my mother to lay a wreath on behalf of her father and his comrades, accompanied by her grandchildren. I didn't think she would want the fuss, but in retrospect I missed the opportunity for her and my children to have that experience as part of our shared family memory.

It is quite natural to think twice about putting yourself forwards in a public event, but you won't regret it of you do.

I think you`ve swayed me, but it is acceptable to lay a wreath for those not commemorated at the Gate?

I have no idea of the etiquette involved in doing so. As you will have gathered, one of my relatives was killed in the salient of course, but the other fell in France. Both are remembered elsewhere.

Thinking about it. Maybe I could get round it by laying a wreath for all of our fallen.

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Gentlemen,

It seems that by writing what I wrote in my posting # 15 (Tuesday) I have opened some discussion. (See also Neverforget # 35.)

Well, it was not really my intention. But I'll be honest : that anatomical issue was in my mind indeed ... (How did you guess ?!) . But only for 50 %. The other 49 % is that - ladies, forgive me - it is my impression (and even more : my experience) that sometimes (?) ladies want a decent meal. Which can take a long time, which I find a waste of time.

The remaining 1 % ? Well, eh ... Sore feet caused by unfitting shoes.

No, I do not want to start up a debate ! :-)

Aurel

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But only for 50 %. The other 49 % is that - ladies, forgive me - it is my impression (and even more : my experience) that sometimes (?) ladies want a decent meal. Which can take a long time, which I find a waste of time.

The remaining 1 % ? Well, eh ... Sore feet caused by unfitting shoes.

I agree with you that spending time searching for and enjoying a decent meal is a waste of day time - although it depends on the weather! Last time I was at the French cemetery at Wettstein in December, in snow and temperatures of -10°, a hot meal was essential and luckily we were able to find one at Schlucht, which is more than the soldiers up at 1100m+ in winter had. In summer, I would enjoy a picnic, with a nice meal to look forward to in the evening. Actually what I find more problematical than food is keeping hydrated and I carry bottles of water in the car. The idea that every French village has a friendly café is no longer true, sadly.

This female is happy to clump around battlefields in suitable footwear disregarding what anyone else thinks of her appearance! It might be worth remembering that in some of the areas where one goes to see vestiges there is a real danger of ticks and consequent risk of Lyme Disease. In the Vosges battlefield areas they have notices warning visitors to dress suitably. It's far more risky there, but some north western areas have incidences of ticks. (Notices mention maladie de lyme, tiques)

Gwyn

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I think you`ve swayed me, but it is acceptable to lay a wreath for those not commemorated at the Gate?

I have no idea of the etiquette involved in doing so. As you will have gathered, one of my relatives was killed in the salient of course, but the other fell in France. Both are remembered elsewhere.

Thinking about it. Maybe I could get round it by laying a wreath for all of our fallen.

There is no problem at all laying wreaths for soldiers not commemorated on the wall. The memorial is to the soldiers of the British Empire as well as those who have no known grave. The last Post Association take a very broad view and welcome expressions of remembrance from almost all quarters.I have seen white blossoms laid by a survivor of the Nagasaki atomic bombing. I understand that the Last Post Association take a dim view of people who want to dress up in WW1 costume or make a political statement. If you steer clear of these, you will be fine.

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sometimes (?) ladies want a decent meal.

The love of my life enjoys our trips to the battlefields. She's quite interested in wandering round cemeteries, usually looking for interesting inscriptions.

But she does want a good meal afterwards. Hence, on recent trips, there's been a dinner at the Michelin starred "In de Wulf" near Dranouter. And there'll be probably a last dinner there on the next trip (restaurant has said it's closing at the end of this year). And we'll be trying the Michelin 2 star St Nicolas at Elverdinge (which I'd only recently heard about). Food and WW1 - my two great passions. Well, three passions including Mrs H.

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Three passions? In any particular order John? :-)

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We rarely eat out in France, not because we don't want to, but we usually stay in gites or chambre d'hotes where we can prepare our own food. When we have been on the motorbike all day we don't want to go out again, and some gites are quite isolated so you then get the who drives dilemma. Staying in, we can enjoy an aperitif and a glass or two of wine. I am quite happy to cook a simple meal in the evening.

Michelle

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There is no problem at all laying wreaths for soldiers not commemorated on the wall. The memorial is to the soldiers of the British Empire as well as those who have no known grave. The last Post Association take a very broad view and welcome expressions of remembrance from almost all quarters.I have seen white blossoms laid by a survivor of the Nagasaki atomic bombing. I understand that the Last Post Association take a dim view of people who want to dress up in WW1 costume or make a political statement. If you steer clear of these, you will be fine.

Thanks for clearing that up for me. I will look into into it.

Great idea.

If I can add to it upon my return, I will.

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Not specifically on the 5th Bn OBLI but Jeremy Banning has an article on 9th Bn Rifle Brigade who were attacking alongside them that day:-

http://jeremybanning.co.uk/tag/vis-en-artois/

Have a great trip

Neil

Thanks for that, Neil. I can`t tell you how much the trip means to me.

I have been in touch with Jeremy, and he was very helpful. In fact there are one or two pals on here that have really helped me in my quest to find the "resting place" of my unrecovered relative. Stiletto has particularly gone out of his way to assist me, and combined with everyone`s input to this thread, I feel well armed to take on my little pilgrimage.

My thanks once again to everyone for their posts.

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take a handkerchief in case grit gets in the eyes .........it happens every time we visit Grandpa Creed's grave at Hooge, for example.

Thanks. That`s one thing that I am fully prepared for. Not just because of my own relatives, but I expect to be overwhelmed by the sheer vastness and volume of it all. It`s going to be emotional, that`s for sure.

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