90th Anniversary of the Armistice - November 2008:
|Thiepval||The 11th November 2008 was the
90th anniversary of the signing of the Armistice in 1918 ending the
First World War. To mark the occasion, Colin and myself travelled to the
Memorial at Theipval with the
War Research Society to attend the Remembrance Service
at 11:00 am.
We also visited many of the battlefields of the Somme and some of the cemeteries; of which there are one thousand. There are also many memorials at the roadside commemorating the Tank Corps, the Scottish Pipers and many others.
If you have not visited the Somme battlefields, then I would recommend that you do. This was my first visit and I was struck by the featureless nature of the landscape - there are a few small woods but for the most part the British front lines stretched out over areas of gently sloping landscape with little or no natural cover and all the time overlooked by the German forces occupying the high ground.
Apart from the landscape, the other thing that strikes you is the number of cemeteries, around almost every corner you'll find a cemetery containing the graves of Commonwealth servicemen, both known and some unknown. The sizes of the cemeteries vary and some are accessible only down a muddy track, but all are lovingly tended by the Commonwealth Graves Commission. Established by Royal Commission in 1917 as the Imperial War Graves Commission, the Commonwealth Graves Commission cares for the graves and memorials of almost 1.7 million Commonwealth servicemen and women who died in two World Wars.
|Memorial to the 36th Ulster Division|
|Tank Corp Memorial|