Military History Tours Polygon Wood and Passchendaele Centenary Tour 28 September 2017
A really great day of touring.
This morning we headed south to the Canadian memorial at Vimy ridge. Possibly the most spectacular memorial in France. At Vimy, the Canadian Corps and the British XVII Corps on their immediate southern flank had captured more ground, more prisoners and more guns than any previous British Expeditionary Force offensive. Vimy Ridge was a particularly important tactical feature. Its capture by the Canadians was essential to the advances by the British Third Army to the south and of exceptional importance to checking the German attacks in the area in 1918.
We were able to explore the display at the visitors' centre, then the preserved trenchline. The preserved tunnel section was open, something less than usual; so it was well worth the wait for a Canadian guide to take us through and explain its significance.
Heading on, we next stopped at the French National War Cemetery at Notre-Dame-de-Lorette. Here we saw the 20,000 crosses that mark the known graves of French soldiers who fell in World War 1.
Our Last stop was at the Historial de la Grande Guerre, at Château de Péronne, Péronne. There we were able to experience the Australian exhibition with its graphic audio-visual presentation of the taking of Mt St Quentin and tour the exhibits that chronicle the region's involvement in World War 1.
A long but very interesting day.