Saturday, April 24, 2010
New graves and old....
Today we left Flanders and travelled south to the battlefields of the Somme.
The first stop was the very moving 1916 battlefield of Fromelles, where Australia lost 5533 men during its first action on the Western Front. We visited the Australian Memorial Park, VC Corner Cemetery (the only all-Australian cemetery in France) and saw the site of the recently discovered Australian mass grave at Pheasant Wood.
Leaving Fromelles, we visited the magnificent Canadian memorial at Vimy Ridge - like an Australian version of Gallipoli - and spent time wandering the maze of preserved trenches on the site.
Our final stop of the day is the battlefield of Bullecourt, where Australia lost 10,000 men in two great battles in 1917. We saw the Slouch Hat memorial in the centre of town and the Australian Memorial Park on the site of the German front line.
Tomorrow is Anzac Day!!!!!! We were greeted by a bagpipist and locals at our hotel - we were made to feel so welcome!