Riding The Western Front: Day 12 – Friday 7th July
Awake at the later time of half seven. This for me was a lie in. As stated, the Lambretta was rested for a few days as we used the car my brother hires to get around. We still had places to go to, so after breakfast with my brother, we headed off to visit more cemeteries.
Today we visited the following places:
Auberchicourt British Cemetery
Ramillies British Cemetery
Anneux British Cemetery
Fins New British Cemetery
We also went to Bourlon Wood for a couple of hours, where my Grandfather saw action in the fighting here in 1917. It’s worth noting the trees grow with shrapnel in the wood and the rust runs down the bark.
We got back to the hotel and had a few beers and a chat, but didn’t last long before calling it a night. I slept well.
Riding The Western Front: Day 13 – Saturday 7th July
A day of taking it easy. There weren’t many cemeteries on the list today. The trip to the battlefields at Cambrai coincide with The Genesta Battlefield Group and each year we link up with them. Now and again we crisscross over the old battlefields and cemeteries. They’re a brilliant group of people and it’s always good to share our experiences, information and advice. As well as having a few drinks together. We are going to meet up with the Genesta Group today at Trones Wood. One of the locations of another bloody battle on the Somme.
Today my Brother and I visited:
Dernancourt Communal Cemetery Extension
Dernancourt Communal Cemetery
Delville Wood Cemetery
Guillemont Road Cemetery & Trones Wood with the Genesta Battlefield Group
Hebuterne Military Cemetery
Puchevillers British Cemetery
We then headed back to the hotel for a chat, a bit of grub and a few beers and then I crashed out. I was getting tired easier each day. As I said before, the heat was a real drain on energy levels. This was just walking around. I can’t imagine how hard it was for the soldiers back then.
Riding The Western Front: Day 14 – Sunday 8th July
Today was a special day. We weren’t going to do much today, except meet up with my nephew Benoit and his girlfriend Eva as they drove around Europe in their J7 camper van. I hadn’t seen Benoit for a number of years and I hadn’t met Eva before. So it was great to catch up with family.
We had a good day together and despite the language barrier, assistance from my brother kept the conversation going. Benoit & Eva were better at English than I was at French. We visited the tank museum at Flesquieres and visited the site of the Battle of Cambrai. Later that day we met up with Mark Banning, Mary Freeman and friends of the Genesta Battlefield Group at their hotel for beer and the groups very own Concert Party, which they have on the last night of their trip.
Before long it was time to head back to our own hotel. I still had packing to do, but I left it to the morning. The alcohol consumed had magnified my tiredness.