Military History Tours Villers-Bretonneux Centenary Tour 23 April 2018
Battlefield touring today.
We started where the British Somme Offensive commenced in July 1916 with an inspection of the Lochnagar Crater, created as the offensive commenced. We discussed the murderous tactics and inexcusable loss of life. Then to Gordon Dump Cemetery where Elizabeth and Craig paid their respects at the grave of her mother’s twin Alfred Grindrod and his comrades killed at Pozieres.
A few minutes later we found ourselves in Pozieres at the 1 Div Memorial discussing the exploits of Albert Jacka and 1 Div's costly baptism in France. The on to the Windmill to discuss 2 Div and 4 Div's exploits at Mouquet Farm. At the Mouquet Farm memorial Sheryn, Joshua and Matthew paid respects to their relative Philip Gilman who died there.
At Thiepval we were impressed with the grandeur of the commemorative structure and took the time to contemplate the fate of those from the UK and South Africa who died in the war to end all wars.
Similarly, at Beaumont Hamel we discussed the battle and mourned the loss of so many Newfoundlanders.
On to Flers we discussed what took place and paused to reflect on the loss of Charles' relative Harold Humphries in that inconclusive engagement.
At Grevillers Cemetery, Ross made the valiant effort to commemorate the passing of a relative.
Then on to Bullecourt where we discussed the battle in detail, taking time to lament the failings of new technology and morn the loss of so many wasted at the hands of incompetent commanders.
At Bullecourt Wendy was able to be at the place where her uncle Leslie Groves and his cousin Ernest Fowles died. Both from 22 Battalion, hit by the same shell.
A really great day that concluded with a few well earned drinks and an excellent evening meal.