Today was our final day, and we remembered those who fought and were lost in the Battle of the Somme. The battle took place between 1 July and 18 November 1916 on either side of the River Somme in France. More than 1,000,000 men were wounded or killed.
Our day began with a ceremony in Wanquentin Cemetery. Our guide, John Goheen, commemorated his great uncle Charles Goheen of the Canadian Machine Gun Corps. Charles died Sept. 24, 1918 in a bombing raid on Warlus. He is one name, one memory, of so many countless others who died in the Somme.
We visited the Sunken Lane near the village of Beaumont. During WWI it was a no man’s land between British and German lines. We saw a photo of the men of the Lancashire Fusiliers, a British Battalion, who hid in Sunken Lane awaiting the signal to go over the top. Going over the top was hopeless, after the short climb there was wide open country. Once they were over there was nothing in front of them but bullets and machine-guns. There was no place to run to.
We visited the Thiepval Memorial, also know as the Memorial to the Missing of the Somme. The Memorial bears the names of more than 72,000 soldiers who died in the Somme and have no known grave.
Photo above: The soldiers waiting in Sunken Lane.
Photo below: Beaumont fields, 1918.
Photo below: Sunken Lane today.
Photo below: Names on the wall of Thiepval Memorial.
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