France
Arrondissement de Péronne

Here you’ll find travel reports about Arrondissement de Péronne. Discover travel destinations in France of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

12 travelers at this place:

  • Day10

    Day Nine

    July 22, 2016 in France

    Today we said good bye to Ypres and the battlefields of the Ypres Salient and we have made our way south, back into France and to the area they call 'The Somme'. We returned to Fromelles for a closer look at Pheasant Wood Cemetery and Australia Memorial Park or VC Corner. Our historian, Mike, took us out into a paddock of wheat to fully explain the botched battle that was Fromelles. From our vantage point we could clearly see the Auber Ridge and the Sugarloaf (a bulge in the German front line). The first wave of Australian forces have 200m of no-man's land to cover to try and take the German trenches. The British on their flank have 400m of no-man's land to cover. But the British decide not to go as they dont think they can make a success of it, but fail to fully conmunicate this to the Aussies. Not enough Aussie soldiers from this first wave make it to fully take over the German trenches, so by the time the second and third waves come they are mowed down by German machine gun fire. The same thing happens again the next day as the British pull out due to dwindling numbers. The 58th Batallion loses 400 Victorian soldiers. This campaign was doomed from the start and results in over 5500 casualties and 1299 killed in a 24 hour period.

    We spent some time at VC Corner - Australian Memorial Park. This is where the famous 'Cobber' sculpture is. To make it even more spectacular the grass areas surrounding the statue were covered in handmade knitted poppies. This was a display created for last year's Gallipoli Centenery and displayed in Federation Square. From here they were taken to the Chelsea Flower Show and then thanks to an anoyomous donation the display was brought to the Western Front for the Fromelles Centenery. It was amazing and gave the area that special spark.

    We then went for a more intimate look at Pheasant Wood Cemetery in Fromelles, the site for Tuesday's Centenery service. This is the newest cemetery on the Western Front. It was created in 2009 after a mass grave of Australian soldiers was found in a farmer's paddock adjacent to the Fromelles village. Each soldier was laid to rest in the cemetery with a heastone 'Unknown soldier of the Great War' in 2010. After each soldier is identified by DNA their headstone is replaced with a new one depicting their name, rank, date of death, rising sun and a message from their family. A beautiful memorial.
    After lunch we visted 'Vimy Ridge' the Canadian memorial to the fallen. It is massive, it is hard to describe its size or depict it properly in photos. This memorial represents the 66,000 Canadian troops killed on the Western Front and has the names of all the soldiers missing that do not have a known grave. The monument stands tall with two pillars side by side, this represents the two countries, France & Canada. The space between the pillars represents the ocean between these countries. The figure on top represents 'peace' and the shared values of faith, hope, courage and knowledge. The lone statue in front, which looks like the Virgin Mary is Mother Canada, looking out over the tomb and keeping a careful and loving watch over the fallen soldiers.

    Finally we visited Bullecourt and had a beer in the 'Le Canberra' pub, just like the Diggers in 1917. We will learn more of the Battle of Bullecourt in the coming days.
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  • Day11

    Day Ten

    July 23, 2016 in France

    This morning we headed towards Villers Bretonneux. We visited the Victoria School and had photos taken under the famous 'Don't Forget Australia' sign in the playground of the school. We also wandered through the museum dedicated to the Aussies who fought to save the town. We followed this with our visit to the Villers Bretonneux Military Cemetery. This is a magnificent structure. The size of the cemetery is hard to describe. As you walk in past the alter bearing the inscription 'Their name liveth for evermore' it is a confronting sight to see rows and rows of headstones for a far as you can see up the hill. As you go up the hill in the distance is the bell tower and the wall carrying all the names of the missing. It is quite impressive. We had several pilgrimages to honour reletives of people on the tour. One of the fallen soldiers in the cemetery was honoured by five generations of family, this was quite special to witness.

    After lunch at Tommy's in Pozieres, a pub quite well known by Aussie diggers in 1916, we went to the Le Hamel Memorial. This was to honour the Aussies in the battle for the town of Le Hamel. The memorial is situated on the trenches that the Germans held until July 4th 1918. This battle was the making of Sir John Monash as Commander of the Australian Corps. His meticulous planning resulted in a famous victory.

    Other places we visited were:
    - Lochnagar Crater Memorial
    - 3rd Australian Division Memorial
    - Mouquet Farm, a German held area that the Aussies attack and after five weeks of fighting capture the farm from the Germans. The Aussies refer to it as 'Moo Cow Farm'.

    Our final stop for today was at the Thiepval Memorial and French-Anglo Cemetery. After seeing the massive memorial at Vimy Ridge yesterday I didn't think they could get any bigger but I was wrong, so wrong! The structure that is Thiepval is a sight to be hold. It is a giant in all aspects of the word. It looks like a giant wedding cake! This is a memorial for all men who fought the various battles along The Somme. In all 72,000 men died on The Somme and have no known grave. This is their memorial. These names are inscribed along the walls of the monument along with each battle that made up the fighting along The Somme. Numerous times today we crossed over the river Somme, where bloodiest of battles gets its name.
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  • Day12

    Day Eleven

    July 24, 2016 in France

    Today we went to Pozieres for the centenery. Prior to this we went to Beaumont Hamel, the New Foundland Memorial. Here we could see real evidence of shelling. This area during the war was mainly Canadian & New Foundland soldiers and here they sustained a huge loss of life. Amongst the brave soldiers was the one and only recorded Inuit (Eskimo) soldier. The monument is impressive, this large caribou on top of a mountain with the honour roll underneath.

    The Australian Department of Veteran Affairs, once again planned and organised a wonderful ceremony. The tributes to the fallen at Pozieres were interesting and moving. It was great to see the youth of our nation read tributes to the soldiers. The big screen pieces outlining the battle in detail were very informative and brought the battle to life. Both Fromelles and Pozieres ceremonies really honoured the brave soldiers that lost their lives so we could live the life we have today.

    For dinner we visited the town of Amiens. This is a quaint town right on the banks of the Somme River. There are rows and rows of restaurants and cafes that line the river bank. An extremely popular place at night. We found a little restuarant called 'L'Envie'. Where we had a three course meal - Entree was a traditional french pancake with cheese, mushroom and ham rolled inside and baked. Main Course was a rib eye steak and chips (after seeing so many potato fields across northern France it was good to taste it. I guess that's why they are called french fries!😝 Finally dessert, this was Fondant au chocolat, which was like a chocolate lava cake with fresh fruit and caramel icecream. It was quite spectacular!
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  • Day12

    Day Twelve

    July 24, 2016 in France

    Our final day on the Somme battlefields before we head back to Paris this afternoon.
    Firstly we drove through the village of Contalmaison this was the area where Australian divisions congregated prior to the assault on Pozieres village.

    On the 14th July 1916, Australians arrive in Pozieres. This area is significant as it is the highest land in the area and the Allies want to occupy it at any cost. To begin with Germans held the village of Pozieres. The Australians 1st and 2nd Divisions take on the assault for Pozieres. The fighting was an intense artillery barriage. As the casualties mount, four Victoria Crosses are awarded to Australian soldiers in a matter of days.
    First division lose over 5000 men, the suvivors are shattered and battleworn, but the town is taken by the Australians. In the following days the 2nd Division take over and capture the Windmall and Mouquet Farm. These are significant as they allow the Australians and the British to mount a full assault on Thiepval, the highest point on the Somme valley. From here they can control the entire area.
    Standing on the mound where the windmill once stood you can see across the paddocks and clearly see the route these soldiers took from Pozieres to Mouquet Farm and then Theipval. With the naked eye it looks like only 10-20km between each. Quite an amazing sight.
    Arrived back in Paris at our hotel to scrub up and look forward to our dinner cruise on the River Seine tonight.
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  • Day12

    Reflection

    July 24, 2016 in France

    I guess when I first booked this tour over a year ago I knew that I would be seeing the battlefields of some famous places that I had read about or been told about at school, (which was usually only a few days prior ANZAC Day and covered mainly Gallipoli)
    What I didn't expect was to learn so much more:
    - the individual battles within each offensive and how individual acts of courage can change the course of the battle
    - the conditions in which our soldiers had to endure and still continued on
    - the emotional connection you develop with each story about bravery, each memorial and cemetery you visit
    - And mostly the reality it brings with each and every family pilgrimage. Thank you to everyone who has allowed me to be part of your personal stories.
    It is all part of the memories I will take away with me and cherish forever❤️

    ❤️They shalt not grow old
    As we who are left grow old
    Age shall not weary them
    Nor the years condenm
    At the going down of the sun and in the morning
    We will remember them❤️

    THEIR NAME LIVETH FOR EVERMORE
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  • Day4

    Day 4: Amiens to Miraumont

    April 8, 2017 in France

    Woke up to a beautiful day. Not very cold but there was a chill in he air. We had a wonderful breakfast room Sabine including homemade sandwich loaf of something. Also delicious crusty bread!! Tim, the tourguide, picked us from the house at 9am. We also met his wife and daughter who took our luggage straight back to there place in Miraumont where we are staying tonight. 

    We then took daypacks and ourselves with Tim to our first stop, the Franco-Australien museum at Villers-Bretonneaux. There was little to see as they were in the process of moving to a larger area, but here were still some wonderful photos to look at. And the kicker...the 4-5ft tall pictures of various places in Australia, such as Bourke Street! 

    After we finished there we went out to the Australian National Memorial at Villers-Bretonneaux ; Australians on he Western Front 1914-1918. Where we looking out from was were the Germans were standing and you could see for miles and miles. William Seymour Wallin is buried in there and the first of five graves sites we are to visit. As this was the first, and by far the largest cemetery any relative is buried in, this was the most impacting site of them all. Not to mention, as I said to faj, it's means a whole lot more, and it's a whole lot more scary when you see your own name on a headstone. Faj agreed with me and then took this and ran with it when talking to other people. I had to take a moment here.

    We also learned that every Commonwealth War Graves Commission cemetery contains a visitors book as well as an index style book to help you to find your relative. Faj and I wrote in this one, with the simple comment W.S.Wallin.

    While we were there we walked up the top of the tower and had amazing 360 views across the whole area. 

    We then decided, this was probably lunch time, and we made of way back into the town
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Arrondissement de Péronne, Arrondissement de Peronne

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