"Seven bums and fourteen legs,
a brazen ecstasy which begs
the question some of us are asking -
is Peter Goulding multi-tasking?"

Martin Parker, Editor, Lighten Up Online

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Somme and Ypres

Village memorial in La Targette north of Arras

Three nights, four full days in north-eastern France and Belgium. Quite a sobering experience just to witness the graves and memorials to the hundreds of thousands of soldiers from WW1 whose bodies were never found.
Two facts about the war I never realised -
1) that tunnelling played a huge part in the war, whether digging tunnels under enemy trenches and laying explosives or getting troops to the front line without the enemy realising (as at Vimy Ridge)
2) that the Treaty of Versailles stipulated that only allied gravestones and crosses could be constructed of white stone. The Germans had to use black stone. Seems pretty despicable now but I suppose we're judging from a distance of 95 years.
And we never found Willie McBride...

1 comment:

  1. Truly amazing Peter. Thank-you for this WWI account how amazing to see Vimy etc. I did not know this about the crosses. The History Channel had a bit about the tunnels; quite incredible! It must be surreal to be there; where "the war to end all wars" took place. WWII 65th V.E. was this past week; were there a lot of vets in France. The last WWI Canadian vet, John Babcock died about a year ago at 109 years old. Can. recently had just repaired their Canadian National Memorial at Vimy not long ago. "To the valour of their countrymen in the Great War and in memory of their sixty thousand dead this monument is raised by the people of Canada" WOW! 60 k is mind boggling." Wikipedia