Military History Tours Battle of Bullecourt Centenary Tour 3 May 2017
It was both wet and cold today when we visited Bullecourt on the 100th anniversary of the second battle 3 May 1917.
Our first stop was the church and the bronze hat memorial. ‘Twas there we met a couple of reenactors. Two English sons, both in AIF uniform with their Australian mother whose father had been killed in the battle for the town.
Then to the new museum, very impressive especially if you avail yourselves of the audio commentary. Thereafter with such a chill in the air, a coffee at the hotel Canberra was most appreciated. Strangely a patron was smoking, we nearly told the manager that if she wanted to emulate a real Australian pub, she could not allow that, but thought better of it.
Then to the Bullecourt Digger Memorial, and a discussion of the battle. The first 10 - 12 April 1917 where the early tanks failed to perform as expected, then the second 3 - 17 May 1917 where Catorina’s ancestor Edward Dann was fatally wounded, and Matthew and Robert’s ancestor Alfred Roberts lost his life. The two battles resulting in 10,000 Australian casualties. These battles were used by the British staff college after the war as examples of how NOT to plan an attack.
Lunch was au vehicle due to the inclement weather, then to the private memorial where we were pleased to note that the plaque affixed by Merle and Donald on tour with us on 25 April 2017 was still firmly attached to the concrete cross.
We then visited the town of Noreuil where the forces assembled for the attacks, and the Australian Field Ambulance cemetery at Vaux where many Australian medical staff are buried alongside a number of Germans.
Back to our hotel for a much-appreciated drink, and another excellent evening meal.
This ended our tour, tomorrow, after breakfast, we drive to Paris and go our separate ways home or on to further adventures.