Saturday, 8 December 2012

Somme - Remembering Australians of WWI

On a more sombre note today, we drove nearly three hours north to the Somme region of Picardie. There we paid our respects to the many thousands of Australian soldiers who lost their lives in the Great War. The Battle of the Somme took place between 1 July and 17 November 1916, over a fourteen-mile length of the Western Front.

We commenced our journey with a visit to the town of Villers Bretonneux - a town that to this day still celebrates Anzac Day and pays ongoing tribute to the 1200 Australian men, and boys, who in a single day in April 1918 lost their lives saving their town from German domination. There we looked inside their Franco-Australian Museum, filled with artefacts, uniforms, flags and memorabilia from WWI. Many tributes and plaques from Australian services clubs and schools decorated the walls. Outside the window, we could see the "Adelaide School", whose playground flew the banner, "Never Forget Australia".

After Villers Bretonneux, we drove to the Adelaide Cemetery, the Australian War Memorial and then further on through Pozieres to the War Memorial at Thiepval - a final resting place for 73,367 British and South African men who died but have no known grave. Finally, we visited the snow-covered trenches of Beaumont-Hamel - where few were visiting but all those who died will be forever remembered.              Tricia

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