Download The Middlebrook Guide to the Somme Battlefields by Martin Middlebrook PDF

By Martin Middlebrook

Whereas top often called being the scene of the main bad carnage within the WW1 the French division of the Somme has obvious many different battles from Roman instances to 1944. William the Conqueror introduced his invasion from there the French and English fought at Crecy in 1346 Henry Vs military marched via on their strategy to Agincourt in 1415 the Prussians got here in 1870. the nice conflict observed 3 nice battles and nearly 1/2 the 400,000 who died at the Somme have been British - a poor harvest, marked through 242 British cemeteries and over 50,000 lie in unmarked graves. those statistics clarify partially why the world is visited year-on-year through ever expanding numbers of British and Commonwealth electorate.

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Type C, 30 feet high, for special cases. The only ‘special case’ cemeteries on the Somme are the Anglo-French Cemetery at the Thiepval Memorial and Villers-Bretonneux Military Cemetery. The Stone of Remembrance is a large altar-shaped stone, mounted on three low steps, weighing twelve tons and originally costing £500 to produce and install. On its side are engraved the words ‘THEIR NAME LIVETH FOR EVERMORE’. Over seventy years after the First World War, the War Graves Commission is in the process of adding stainless-steel historical notices with a map and descriptive text at every cemetery with more than forty graves.

Boulogne saw much action in the Second World War. The 2nd Irish Guards and the 2nd Welsh Guards were landed in May 1940 with orders to hold out for as long as possible; the port area was bombed many times when it was in German hands, and Canadian units had to fight particularly hard to capture the town in 1944. Boulogne is actually closer to the Somme battlefields than Calais; there are some interesting cross-country routes and the new motorway will run south from Boulogne and on to Abbeville, Amiens and the eastern parts of the Somme.

Wimereux Communal Cemetery is the civilian cemetery in the northern part of this seaside town. It was used to bury men who died at local hospitals from October 1914 until the British plot became full in June 1918. The burials were very close together and it is hard to realize that there are nearly 3,000 war graves in this small enclosure. The headstones were laid flat, because of the instability of the sandy soil. But it is a very pleasant spot, on a south-facing slope, and is laid out as a series of terraces with plenty of flowers.

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