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Remembered Today:

I'm Going Over There


Guest Simon Bull
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Guest Simon Bull

Off for 10 days in France and Belgium tomorrow. Looking forward to it immensely.

Traveling in my parents bronze/reddy Honda 4WD.

Will keep my eyes open for any Pals.

Any watching burglars please note that house is well occupied in my absence.

Anyone who replies to any of my threads in next 10 days please accept my apologies in advance for tardy response.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Guest Simon Bull

Back from my trip now. No photographs to post because I haven't gone through them yet and in any event I did not take very many, but concentrated instead on explaining the sites to my mother who had not previously visited the Western Front.

The trip was very interesting, and at times quite moving. To show my mother (now in her 70s) the places where her father fought, won his medals, was wounded and taken prisoner was an eerie experience.

Impressions from the trip:

(1) My first visit to Hill 60 -- what a war-torn landscape, contrasting with the very peaceful rural nature of the surroundings, particularly on the other side of the railway line in Battle Wood around Caterpillar Crater. Incidentally, whilst we were there the railway line was being worked on because of fears that it will collapse into the junction of five First World War tunnels underneath the railway line just to the side of Hill 60.

(2) The excellent " Silent Witness" exhibition at In Flanders Fields. I think it is very sad that this will not be permanent. I thought the audiovisual display was particularly interesting.

(3) The museum at Zonnebeke, which a number of Pals had quite rightly recommended me to.

(4) The photographs (which I saw before some years ago) at the Museum at Villers Bretonneux which are of such excellent photographic quality.

(5) Leaving a wreath with my mother and my brother and my father at the grave of the tank commander who was killed when my grandfather's was taken prisoner. His name is Harry Dale and he is buried at Crucifix Corner Cemetery, Villers Brettoneux.

(6) Travelling, as a family, some of the very routes which my grandfather would have travelled in his tank.

(7) The great care and attention which is being lavished on the Vimy Ridge Memorial -- it should look excellent when the work is eventually done.

I am a bit snowed under with work at the moment but, (if they are worth posting), when I've had an opportunity to look at such photographs as I took I may post one or two.

If other thoughts occur to me I shall post them.

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To show my mother (now in her 70s) the places where her father fought, won his medals, was wounded and taken prisoner was an eerie experience.

You were able to find the ground easily, then, Simon?

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Guest Simon Bull
You were able to find the ground easily, then, Simon?

It varies John

(1) Can only be somewhat speculative re where he fought (probably as an infantryman) on the Somme.

(2) Can be fairly exact re where he won his first MM at Arras

(3) Can make a very educated supposition re where he won his second MM, also at Arras

(4) Can only be pretty speculative about most of his Battle of Third Ypres and Cambrai, although can be very specific about two parts thereof.

(5) Can be absolutely clear about where he taken prisoner on 24/4/1918.

Hoping to write his story on Tom Morgan's website later in the year.

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Hello Simon.

Glad to hear that you enjoyed your trip. It must have been a very emotional time for your Mum. Like you say, it is an experience to follow in a loved ones footsteps, even after all these years. I personally look over the ground where my Great Uncle fought and died with his comrades and cannot comprehend it, the horror of it all. Now so peacefull and beautifull. It hits me hard when I look at his name and so many others on the Menin Gate.

I too, look forward to reading the story on Tom Morgans site.

Terry. W.

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Guest Simon Bull
Hello Simon.

cannot comprehend it, the horror of it all. Now so peacefull and beautifull.

Terry. W.

Thanks Terry - the words you use above are very much what my mother said on a couple of occasions.

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Hi Simon,

Glad you had a good time. Just got back from there myself. Didn't see a bronze/reddy Honda though although was looking out for it.

Liam

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Guest Simon Bull
Hi Simon,

Glad you had a good time. Just got back from there myself. Didn't see a bronze/reddy Honda though although was looking out for it.

Liam

Whereabouts did you go Liam?

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Came over on Sunday morning and called in at Lissenthoek Cemetery on the way to Ypres. Spent the afternoon watching the Cat Festival in the Town.

Monday went to see Jan at the Passchendale Archives at Zonnbekke and then off to Tyne Cot.

Tuesday we went down to the Somme. Called at Thiepval and had lunch in Albert. In the afternoon we went to Delville Wood and High Wood cemeteries.

Yesterday went to Poperinghe (Talbot House) in the morning and spemt the afternoon around Ypres. Came back today.

I was driving a black convertible Beetle so quite easy to spot.

Look forward to seeing your pics when they are ready.

Liam

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Glad you had a good trip, I always seem to end up in tears at some point in our travels to the battlefields!

Although the most eerie thing that happened to us, was on the first visit to the site of Rainbow Trench Gueudecourt, where my g-grandfather was (presumed) killed on 7/10/16. The Rifle Brigade chronicle stated that for 3 days prior to the action, it rained heavily, and even though we were there in mid-july at the point we found the location of the trench, the heavens opened. Deciding to go back to the car, it stopped, so back to the trench we go, and it starts again! This happened in total 3 times in a matter of 30 mins, and believe me, it really gave an insight into what the mud must have been like. It was nearly up to my arm pits (not very tall but even so...).

I've not been back to that location as I feel g-grandad is not there, however when going round the Guards Cemetary nearby, I did get a very odd feeling near one of the Soldiers of the Great War graves, perhaps just wishful thinking.

Anyway, looking forward to seeing any pics you might have, as we recently found great-uncle Leonard Collier was killed near Battle wood in Sept 1918.

Angela

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Guest Simon Bull
Came over on Sunday morning and called in at Lissenthoek Cemetery on the way to Ypres. Spent the afternoon watching the Cat Festival in the Town.

Monday went to see Jan at the Passchendale Archives at Zonnbekke and then off to Tyne Cot.

Tuesday we went down to the Somme. Called at Thiepval and had lunch in Albert. In the afternoon we went to Delville Wood and High Wood cemeteries.

Yesterday went to Poperinghe (Talbot House) in the morning and spemt the afternoon around Ypres. Came back today.

I was driving a black convertible Beetle so quite easy to spot.

Look forward to seeing your pics when they are ready.

Liam

Liam

I think we went to many of the same places but in a different order and on different dates.

Don't hold your breath for the pictures. I really took very few and I do not know whether any will be of publishable quality.

Regards

Simon

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