Remembering the Somme

By | Category: Travel news
the memorial to the Somme at Thiepval

the memorial to the Somme at Thiepval

Today as the nearest Sunday to November 11th, there will be Remembrance Day in most towns, villages and cities.

With a touching idea, the French have reminded us of the sacrifices that were made in WWI with the Wool War I soldiers.

A small exhibition of Wool War One devised by the French artist, Délit Maille, was briefly in London last week as a forerunner of the official Somme commemorations next year. It was Maille’s idea to create these knitted soldiers but why? Wool was of huge importance to soldiers during World War Ito keep them dry and warm from the elements they found in the trenches.

Eight hundred woollen soldiers have been knitted by 500 people from 5 continents symbolising the fact that the war affected the whole world. The soldiers have been displayed in northern France and at the Grand Palais in Paris before this trip to London.

some of the woollen soldiers crafted to remind us of the sacrifices  at the Battle of the Somme

some of the woollen soldiers crafted to remind us of the sacrifices at the Battle of the Somme

The Battle of the Somme was the first major Allied offensive, the infantry attack launching on 1 July 2016 after a week of artillery bombardment designed to annihilate German positions. But the bombardment had failed, resulting in 57,000 British casualties on the first day alone and 420,000 by the end of the battle five months later. It was during this battle that tanks first made their impression on opposing troops and air power was used effectively.

Official commemorations of the Somme will start on July 1st 2016 at locations round Thiepval, Lochnagar and Beaumont-Hamel with an evening concert by Barbara Hendricks in Albert. Events will continue throughout the summer to remember the fallen from all nations, including Canada, South Africa, India, New Zealand and Australia including, of course, the French. A new interpretation centre opens in June at Thiepval, part of the Museum of the Great War in Péronne.

 

 

 

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