Jump to content
The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

1928 British Legion Pilgrimage Photos


ianw
 Share

Recommended Posts

Recently in a thread about a Morpeth pilgrimage in the 30's, I mentioned my interest in the 1928 B.L Pilgrimage. This led to a very kind forum member contacting me and offering me some wonderful material on this Pilgrimage. I cannot thank him enough.

Included are some nice pictures of the event and I thought I would share a couple with the Forum. First is a picture of the pilgims at Ancre Cemetery with Ulster Tower in the background.

post-70-1125734019.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Next is a picture of the Vimy Memorial in construction with only the base partially finished.

Taken in the direction of Loos according to the reverse of the photo.

post-70-1125734219.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Of course the pilgrims of both sexes were strictly segregated at their accomodation. However, I think our chaps would have tolerated the segregation given the charming nature of their French hostesses. The photo shows the entente cordiale being created in Arras.

post-70-1125740475.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

After visiting the Ancre Cemery, many pilgrims trekked up the ridge to the Ulster Tower (approx 7 years since its opening) and climbed the stairs to take in what must have been an incredible view of the desolation surrounding it.

post-70-1125747469.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am so envious of those guys at the top of the Ulster Tower - having climbed the Tower myself in the early 90's before it was closed on health and safety grounds.

I still think they could charge 5 euros for the trip to the top and ask people to sign some sort of safety disclaimer and then use the money to rubberize the steps, install new lighting etc. Oh the nanny state situation we are now in - both here and in France.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Great stuff Ian. I love 1920s photos of the Front. The first photo taken from the Ancre Cemetery looking towards the Ulster Tower - can one see the chalk marks of the German front line on 1 July 1916?

Regards

Hedley

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hedley - I will try to enhance the scan of the area adjacent to Ulster Tower which does seem to show a lot of chalk. However, I suppose a great deal of chalk must have been moved during the construction of the tower. That said little seems to have been done with this area in the 10 years since the end of the war and I would suspect a lot of detritus, trenches etc would still be pretty untouched.

What I would give to be able to do that 1928 walk up to the tower !

Link to comment
Share on other sites

One final image from the 1928 visit that intrigued me is this one of a "wayside chapel erected for soldiers to worship before going into the trenches. Candles, Crucifix and inside just as it was left." Note the bell.

Unfortunately no hint of its location.

This simple hut must have given such a lot of comfort.

post-70-1125777459.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you for the image of Ancre Cem with Ulster Tower on horizon.

A fantastic perspective virtually impossible to achieve today I am sure.

Des

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Many thanks for producing such a superb set of photos - the hard work by the CWGC staff produced such peace in such a short time.

Does anyone know of a book which shows "now and then" photos

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Given the fact that many members have posted 'then' pictures over the years, perhaps it would be worthwhile trawling for thse pictures and inserting them into a dedicated forum-based 'Then and Now' gallery with good explanatory captions? I am sure such a project would be well received?

Des

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ian,

Great pictures, thanks for posting them. Good idea Des.

Andy

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am so envious of those guys at the top of the Ulster Tower - having climbed the Tower myself in the early 90's before it was closed on health and safety grounds.

I still think they could charge 5 euros for the trip to the top and ask people to sign some sort of safety disclaimer and then use the money to rubberize the steps, install new lighting etc. Oh the nanny state situation we are now in - both here and in France.

Ian

Thank you for posting photographs. Excellent to see. I agree with your comment regarding access to the top of the Ulster Tower. Problems of access have been overcome in other places eg the Gothic Tower at Painshill Park.

Regards

Myrtle

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Does anyone know of a book which shows "now and then" photos

The following set of books, although 20 years after the end of the war rather than 10 are very good, and currently have no bids (and starting at only a fiver - I spent a lot more than that for my set!).

Speedbid

And no, I am not the seller, nor do I have any links to him either!

Steve

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Archbishop of Armagh who conducted the dedication service, leading some of the guests through the trenches around the Ulster Tower in 1921.

Sorry if the pictures are to big but I just couldn't get them to reduce.

Carol

post-6768-1126123678.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Tremendous picture. Thank you so much.

Interesting point about the Ancre Cemetery. Did you notice the standard roses planted? And what I assume are lunchboxes being carried and on the ground?

The cemetery looks so different now. Hereare 2 pictures taken last year. They mirror the location of the picture taken in 1928:

Martin

post-1268-1126124314.jpg

post-1268-1126124330.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The view has changed as the Tower is now surrounded in trees and Mill Road Cemetery can be seen in the present day photo from the Ancre.

I know some members were wondering why the Somme Association no longer allows access to the top of the Ulster Tower and yes insurance is the biggest reason and people have suggested signing disclaimers but members need to also understand that our staff live in the Tower. It is their home and it would be very unfair to allow visitors to go walking through their living and sleeping accomodation day after day. For one the beds would always need to be made!!

Carol

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I can't help but think that the pilgrims of the 20's would be delighted to see the recovery of the place and just how wonderful the memorials and cemeteries now look in such a green and pleasant land.

Martin - yes they were lunch-boxes. All the 10,000 pilgrims were provided with them each day. Thanks for those photos. What a contrast. Difficult to believe it is the same place.

Another picture - the view from Ulster Tower to the north with Beaumont Hamel Cemetery just visible. From "The Story of an Epic Pilgrimage"

post-70-1126128455.jpg

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...