Wednesday, July 2, 2008

From Paris to the Somme – The Somme Battlefields

Sat June 28th – Monday Morning June 30 th

From Paris to the Somme – The Somme Battlefields

A few hassles with Europcar – the longest line ever and a very small car! - but we squeezed in and were out of Paris with no incidents. The run up the A1 took about two and a half hours and we found our lodgings easily. A lovely ex-railway station on a one hectare block near Montauban de Picardie. Delightfully rural, green and gold, warm and with the most wonderful light especially in the evenings.

I won't attempt to do justice to the Somme there is so much that has been written. We have greatly appreciated simply being here and seeing such a lovely place. It is impossible to appreciate the horrors of the War but walking the ground certainly enriches and develops your understanding. Mick's approach to the campaign with meticuluous planning, maps, books daily troop briefings and efforts to urge on the flagging troops were miles better than Herbert Gough ever achieved.

There are only a few photos for you here because the don't mean so much until you walk he ground and get it in your head. We walked Pozieres, Mouquet farm, Tiepval, Beaumont-Hamel and visited Mick's grandmother's brother's grave at Warloi. Also Villers-Brettoneux, le Hamel Mont St. Quentin and Bullecourt as well as many cemetries. It has been a wonderful experience which we will look back on for many years. a true privilege to be here!

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