Monday, December 31, 2018

British Memorial Soissons France




The memorial commemorates about 4,000 British Commonwealth men who died during the Battles of the Aisne and the Marne and who do not have a known grave.

On the day I visited, 23 October 2018, two British families found the names of relatives, which all nearby stopped to show respect.








Learn more at the Soisson website for Commonwealth War Graves


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Les Fantômes Memorial France by Paul Landowski





The sculpture is located on the location of the Second Battle of the Marne, 1918. The Memorial is on the hill, Butte Chalmont.



















The seven soldiers have different weapons. The work is in pink granite.







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Chateau-Thierry American Monument France



The impressive American monument is easily visible atop a hill by the Marne River near Chateau-Thierry France.




Short video showing the U.S. memorial and views.






The monument honours the soldiers who fought and died here in 1918.

















There is a visitor centre providing information about the American war effort. It is open most days and there is no charge.









Learn more at the U.S. memorial website.

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Belleau Wood France American World War I Memorial





Belleau Wood is a beautiful wooded area near the village of Belleau (Aisne) France. The U.S. memorial here commemorates the U.S. Marines who fought here in June 1918.




Video showing the memorial site.























Read more about the marine divisions at the US website.
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La Ferté-sous-Jouarre and World War I


La Ferté-sous-Jouarre is in the Ile-de-France Region, Seine-et-Marne Department. I took the above photo of the Marne 23 October, 2018. The small community is between Meaux and Chateaux-Thierry.


La Ferté-sous-Jouarre, Roundabout

















Near the bridge over the Marne are two memorials to the Royal Engineers- one on each side of the river.


Royal Engineer south memorial

Royal Engineer north memorial














A Biritsh war memorial stands at the southwestern border of the town. It comemmorates more than 3,000 British soldiers from World War I who fought the Germans in this area but do not have a grave.




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Meaux Museum France

Trench Exhibit, Meaux Museum


The Meaux Museum contains more than 65,000 items from the Great War, 1914-1918.

Video clip showing an example of the film as part of the trench exhibit.



The objects are quite diverse and may be viewed to tell the story of the war thematically and chronologically.

Webley Revolver













British Grenades















The Museum has special exhibits. When I visited in 2018, a special exhibit focused on American contributions.


























As with many museums, the lighting and reflections off glass cases make it difficult to view the items or take viewable photographs. However, they do have a fine collection of uniforms, artwork, and other objects.



Example of Lighting Difficulty














Fortunately, several large objects are in open areas.


























The museum is open most days. There is an admission fee.
See the website for current hours and prices.


Entrance to Meaux Museum


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Thursday, December 27, 2018

Compiegne France and the 1918 Armistice



Compiegne is the site where the armistice was signed to end hostilities on 11 November 1918 at 11:00 a.m.




In addition to the small memorial outside, there is a small museum.

The train carriage is a replica of the one from 1918. Adolph Hitler used the same carriage in 1940 to dictate terms of surrender when the Nazis overran France.








Inside the carriage is a table with name plates indicating where representatives sat in 1918.




There is a fee for entry into the museum. Toilets are in the back. There is a small gift shop as you exit the building.

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Thiepval Memorial Visitor Centre and Museum France



The Thiepval Memorial commemorates over 72,000 British and South African men reported missing in the Somme. The memorial is the largest Commonwealth war memorial in the world and stands 45 metres high. The names of the missing are engraved on the wall.

The first day of the battle was the worst day in British military history with some 20,000 killed by German machine guns within a few hours.




The nearby Thiepval Visitor Centre (2004) and museum tell the story of the Battle of the Somme which began 1 July 1916 following six days of artillery bombardment of the German positions. The British sufferred enormous losses in the Somme battle which continued until November. The French troops had moved to defend against a German attack at Verdun.

The new museum was opened 2 June 2016 and is adjacent to the Visitor Centre.






Artefacts offer glimpses of life and death on the battlefield. We look down on these exhibits as we walk through the museum.





At the end of the exhibits is a full size replica of Guynemer's figher plane of August 1916.




In addition to a history of World War I with a focus on the Somme, the museum contains a cafeteria and store.


There is no charge for the Visitor Centre but there is a fee for the museum. Access to the memorial is free. There is a picnic area nearby.

Learn more Websites: Thiepval  Great War UK Somme  Thiepval Memorial

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Friday, December 14, 2018

Newfoundland Memorial Park Beaumont Hamel France



This beautiful setting honours the men of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment who fought here 1 July, 1916.  A flock of sheep graze atop the hallowed grounds.



The large park offers a peaceful walk amidst grass-covered craters and trenches. 







The park includes three cemeteries. Not all the buried soldiers have been identified. Here’s a link to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission page for more information.






A visitor centre provides information about the battle. Canadians offer guided tours and information. Signs and storyboards provide additional information.




Following is a video of the site from my YouTube SuttonTravels site.



I took the photos and video 22 October 2018 as part of a Western Front Tour.

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Thursday, December 13, 2018

Lochnagar Crater Battle of the Somme World War I



The Lochnagar Crater resulted when the British detonated a mine underneath German lines at 7.28 am on the first day of the Battle of the Somme, 1 July 1916.

Tunnellers had dug beneath the German positions to place the mine. After seven days of British artillery fire, the mine was detonated. Then, eight successive waves of the 34th Division climbed out of their trenches and headed for the German lines. This day was the bloodiest day in British military history. Read more and see 1916 photos at lochnagarcrater.org.


My photos and video are from 22 October 2018.


A cross marks the memorial site. Many poppies here and around the site remind us the soldiers are not forgotten.

 


















The grey skies helped create a somber moment whilst walking about the crater.

 Storyboards help tell the story of those connected with that fateful day.

































There are places to rest and reflect on war and peace.












Here is a video overview of the Lochnagar Crater site.



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