Abbaye Saint-Vaast d'Arras

Discover travel destinations of travelers writing a travel journal on FindPenguins.
Travelers at this place
    • Day 34

      Arras - Western Front Battlefields

      October 10 in France ⋅ ⛅ 24 °C

      We spent two days with Phil Hora - an Australian expat who lives in Arras - touring the western Front battlefield sites. Phil specialises in Australian tours and I thoroughly recommend him (Sacred Ground tours). I sent him information on my great uncle George who died here and he had located the actual paddocks that he was fighting in when he was killed. It was quite moving to stand in that paddock all this time later and reflect on those events. Later we visited his grave in one of the 2925 Commonwealth War Graves in this region! The following day he tracked down - with info from Helen - areas Jane’s grandfather worked as a field hospital surgeon.
      The loss of life is staggering when you consider that in the four years of stalemate there were major battles, resulting in hundreds of thousands of causalities on both sides, that resulted in maybe 2 to 4 kms of territory gained - sometime a couple of 100 metres! At the battle of Pozieres 6800 Australian men died in 7 weeks! By the end of the war it is estimated 15 to 22 million soldiers from all sides died.
      The respect from the French and Belgium people is amazing and to this day they honour the Australian troops who fought here ( as well as the other nations) by donating their land and their time for cemeteries, memorials and museums.
      The British High Command made disastrous after disastrous decisions in the first three years and I’m surprised we won! The tide turned when the Aussi, Kiwi and Canadian battalions were united under their own generals who had innovative battle plans the bore results and decreased deaths. In our case General John Monash - a civil engineer - who was the only person knighted on the battlefield during the war after his stunning victories in 1918. The new Monash centre at Villers-Brettenoux is a superb information museum opened in 2017 - the quality of all the museums is very high. All up a very sobering but enlightening experience.
      Read more

    You might also know this place by the following names:

    Abbaye Saint-Vaast d'Arras

    Join us:

    FindPenguins for iOSFindPenguins for Android