11/11/2008

The Somme




On our way back from holiday in August this year we visited the Somme. We had enjoyed a family reunion with our two adult sons but they had chosen to fly home, leaving my husband and I to enjoy the drive back at a slower pace. As we drove through the Somme the sky darkened and a deep gloom descended, it seemed to me that the summer ended there in that strange, deeply scarred landscape. We decided to visit Vimmy ridge and to see something of the trenches and war memorials. I cannot imagine the terrible hardship and suffering endured by so many of those young soldiers, I am so grateful that we did not live in those tragic times and did not have to wave goodbye to our menfolk.

“They shall grow not old as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.”

6 comments:

  1. These places have an atmosphere all their own don't they? I went to Gallipoli some years ago and stood at the memorial in Anzac bay - it was the same there - it is as though the suffering remains tangible.

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  2. a very appropriate post for today. I agree we are fortunate to enjoy life without the ravages of war our grandparents had. Although the world is hardly a peaceful place still today.

    I'm surprised to hear you have grown children. You don't look old enough.

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  3. Beautiful photo and post. Let us not forget.

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  4. What a day, many quiet tears shed the whole world over.
    I too have visited Vimy Ridge, as a girl, with my father who was a D Day veteran,miles of tunnels and the memorial to the many thousand Canadian soldiers who died there.
    My husband's grandfather was a Somme veteran, we knew nothing of his war, like many he never spoke of it. His diaries, which are in my care, tell all. . .
    We will remember them.

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  5. The second photo reminds me of a place near Warsaw. The site of a huge mass grave from early in WWII. Our Polish friend took us there and with tears in her eyes said 'I think the trees remember'.

    Celia

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  6. I just feel overwhelming sadness at the waste of life especially in WW1. When we were last in France we visited some of the Normandy beaches of WW11 and the Museum of German Occupation at Quinneville - I never realised that so many were killed in the retreat from Paris and those in the resistance too. Such brave people, all of them.

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