During our visit in France, I knew that this was one of the places I wanted to see. Travelling by car from Lille it took us just over an hour to get to Albert, here is the most central access to the 1916 battlefields.
The Somme, a memorial site dedicated to those brave soldiers fighting in World War 1. On July 1st 1916, the bloodiest day of all, estimated 57,000 casualties, including 20,000 British and Allied troops losing their lives. A truly moving experience and something that I felt in my deepest heart. I had no idea what it would be like here, certainly a time to reflect one’s life and look to those who lost theirs. There is peace and tranquillity here, away from the noise of any busy city. For me it almost made me cry, but I'm glad that I came.
The picture is of the Franco-British memorial at Thiepval, between July 1915 and Febuary 1918, 73,367 names of men who lost their lives and denied the honour of a known grave are engraved on the 16 pillars that form the base of the structure.
"There was no lingering about when zero hour came. Our platoon officer blew his whistle and he was the first up the scaling ladder, with his revolver in one hand and a cigarette in the other. 'Come on, boys,' he said, and up he went."
"We went up after him one at a time. I never saw the officer again. His name is on the memorial to the missing which they built after the war at Thiepval. He was only young but he was a very brave man."
Private George Morgan, Ist Bradford Pals
There are not many places i've been to that leave me speechless, here was definitely one of them.