Military History Tours On Tour - Our Other ANZAC Day - 30 Apr 2010
This was our last day on the battlefields of the Ieper Salient. The day started with a series of cemetery visits where we paid our respects to family and friends of family who had been interred in those cemeteries.
The first was to The Hut Cemetery at Dikkebus where we visited the grave of the best mate of Carroll Spencer’s Grandfather and Eddie Fowles Father. It was a moving moment for them to visit the grave of the person who had been in a photograph on Eddie’s Father’s dressing table for so many years.
We then moved to Lijsenthoek Cemetery and then on to Vlamertinge New British Cemetery to complete the cemetery visits by Ross and Denise Konowalenko. All our small services that we held at the graveside of those we visited were very moving indeed. We have had over 20 special visits to cemeteries where our people had wished to visit and I am happy to report that all sites were found and a small service held at each site.
Proceeding to Dochy Farm Cemetery, we used this base to take our people through the battles in the area known generally as Passchendaele. Ron’s detailed presentation was very well received and did point out the poor tactics of the British planners when in lieu of an attack into the killing zone, they could have opted for an assault from a different angle. We left the area and headed into Zonnebeke where we had a lovely hot lunch in an old café that was full of locals from the area. Food was good as was the interaction with the local people.
After lunch we visited Tyne Cot and Langemark Cemeteries. Both are the largest, one British and one German, in Belgium for their respective people. It is always very moving when we visit those sites and this year was no different. Tomorrow we head for Calais and then across to the UK. It has been a special tour for many and all now are very happy that they have finally “walked the ground” where their family had gone before all those years ago.