Military History Tours On Tour - Our Other ANZAC Day - 26 April 2010
We headed out to the Eastern Battlefields of the Somme where the Australian Forces, near the end of their tether, continued to harass and defeat larger German Forces. These areas include the defeat of the main German Position at Mont St Quentin and the final battles on the last ridge at Montbrehain. The High Tree Cemetery at Montbrehain has in it the grave of Private Taylor of the Second Pioneer Battalion who was killed on \the day that the Australian’s came out of the line for the last time. High Tree Cemetery is the last cemetery to the East of the Somme and Private Taylor’s grave is located at the most Easterly end of that cemetery.
We lunched near the Fourth Divisional Memorial at Bellenglise and we were reminded how dangerous this area can be even today when we found an unexploded artillery shell in the paddock behind our lunch location.
We moved onto the Ricquvel Canal which in two days time celebrates its Bi Centenary, our group moved down the tracks at the top of the feature to stand by the Canal and Ron Lyons took them through the actions that saved the canal from being destroyed when the Australians went into the tunnel and disconnected the booby traps.
Tomorrow is our Villers-Bretonneux day when we will walk the ground of those battles that occurred 92 years ago.
It has been a very difficult Tour to gather due to the major issues associated with the impact of the volcanic ash in the atmosphere.
Now that those able to make it to Paris have all gathered and been transported to the Somme. On ANZAC Day we were able to attend a very memorable ANZAC Dawn Service, a community service in Villers- Bretonneux , and a wreath laying ceremony at Bullecourt.
As well as those very moving events we have had a couple of graveside services for family lost in the Great War. All aboard were able to support Penny and Warren Clare as they paid their respects at the grave of Warren’s Grandfather who lies in the Sailly au Bois Military Cemetery located North West of Albert.
Pte John Clarke was wounded in 1916 and after being moved to the Field Hospital at Sailly au Bois died four days later. The day of our Service was a beautiful sunny day and Warren felt a special closeness has he stood before that headstone.