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Old 03-09-2014, 10:54 AM   #46
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Just enjoying being in France again, and being in the places I love, I made a quick tour through the local castle, Coucy le Chateau and the Port de Laon.





and then this shows the gate before and after the Great War.







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Old 03-09-2014, 11:00 AM   #47
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I went back to the house and hang out a bit and enjoy.....this is supposed to be a laid back trip....not just riding like a maniac all day to see and do everything from sun up to sun down....so different this time....just a bit....



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Old 03-10-2014, 05:36 AM   #48
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Another nice trip, jmead

Thanks for showing the way.
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Old 03-10-2014, 10:39 AM   #49
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That evening after dinner and such I got to take a walk around the little village of Barisis Aux Bois......and was treated to a spectacular sunset as well....







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Old 03-10-2014, 10:56 AM   #50
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Being born in Caen, Normandy, and having spent some of my summers in Flers-de-l'Orne/St-Georges-des-Groseillers at my grand-parents house, while growing up in Quebec, Canada, I enjoyed your report. Great pictures of beautifull villages that we took for granted when we were kids.

Even though, I have been tempted many times, I will not return to my grand-parents' village as many things have change (all the old people I used to know now in the cemetery, old houses having been remodelled) and I prefer to keep things intact in memory ;-)
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Old 03-10-2014, 11:44 AM   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MassiveLee View Post
Being born in Caen, Normandy, and having spent some of my summers in Flers-de-l'Orne/St-Georges-des-Groseillers at my grand-parents house, while growing up in Quebec, Canada, I enjoyed your report. Great pictures of beautifull villages that we took for granted when we were kids.

Even though, I have been tempted many times, I will not return to my grand-parents' village as many things have change (all the old people I used to know now in the cemetery, old houses having been remodelled) and I prefer to keep things intact in memory ;-)
Oh, I completely understand not wanting to go back. I am really sorry to see all the changes going on over there. I wish I could go back to the time of mopeds and Deux Chevaux roaming the countryside.....but that time has passed....and the cemeteries fill....so many of my friends are gone now from there too...
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Old 03-10-2014, 12:29 PM   #52
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Next morning I decided to leave the village for the day, and make a loop through the Somme. I had gone up there often, but there are so many things to see up there concerning the Great War, it can be difficult to see it So, I just figure I will go often, and see as many things as I can each time. My first stop for a quick break was in the town of Ham, where I noticed a fortress that I decided to go check out.
The fortress, or Chateau de Ham, dates back to the Middle Ages, and had a colorful history including being besieged by Philip II of Spain in 1557. The severe damage that show on it today though is mostly from the dynamiting of the structure by the Germans as they were forced backon the 19th of March 1917. Coucy Le Chateau, the castle near my little village had received the same treatment that very same month. So what we get to see today of the Chateau de Ham is a mere ruin, and I would assume not even safe to visit most of it as it was fenced off for the most part.




















Before the war, the Chateau de Ham was very different looking.....





and once the fortress was dynamited by the Germans....





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Old 03-10-2014, 01:00 PM   #53
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There are way too many of these cemeteries to stop and see them all, every couple of minutes on the road and one catches your eye. Some large, some small……I thought I needed a little break, so this one was the place I decided to take one in. Lihons cemetery is situated along the D337, has 6581 burials, and then another 1638 buried in ossuaries in the back of the cemetery. The cemetery dates back to early 1915, but most of the dead buried here were men lost in the Battle of the Somme, July 1, 1916, to November 18, 1916. The cemetery changed hands many times during the Great War. Many of these cemeteries would get shelled also, and tombs would be destroyed, and often bodies could no longer be identified with any certainty. So you do not have to wonder why there are so many unidentified burials. So this cemetery of Lihons is just one of many.







































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Old 03-10-2014, 05:06 PM   #54
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Nice

Really like the post, photos and all the info! I used to live in Starkenburg which is downstream just above Traben. Really miss the area, the wine/beer and the riding. Looking forward to the rest!
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Old 03-11-2014, 09:16 AM   #55
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Within a very short distance of the Lihons French Cemetery is this little British Commonwealth one called Rosieres. You can see the tree from the Lihons Cemetery behind the windmill in the first image. I found this notation concerning this cemetery on the internet:

Rosieres was the scene of heavy fighting between the French Sixth Army and the German First Army at the end of August, 1914. It came within the British lines in February, 1917. With the advance to the Hindenburg Line in the spring of 1917, Rosieres became part of the back area; but in the German offensive of March, 1918, it was reached by the enemy on the 26th. It was defended on the 27th, in the Battle of Rosieres, by the 8th Division and the 16th Brigade, Royal Horse Artillery; but these troops had to be withdrawn in the night. On the 9th August, after a stubborn defence, the village was retaken by the 2nd Canadian Division and Tanks.
























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Old 03-11-2014, 09:59 AM   #56
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My next stop was Villers-Bretonneux. I stopped on the edge of town to get a shot of the Australian Cemetery from a distance, and there was a German guy I chatted with a bit…..he was spending several weeks riding his bicycle across Europe. He saw the German plates on my TransAlp and had thought I was German also.





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Old 03-11-2014, 10:20 AM   #57
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Villers-Bretonneux

Villers-Bretonneux

Villers-Bretonneux became famous in 1918, when the German advance on Amiens ended in the capture of the village by their tanks and infantry on 23 April. On the following day, the 4th and 5th Australian Divisions, with units of the 8th and 18th Divisions, recaptured the whole of the village and on 8 August 1918, the 2nd and 5th Australian Divisions advanced from its eastern outskirts in the Battle of Amiens.

The memorial is the Australian National Memorial erected to commemorate all Australian soldiers who fought in France and Belgium during the First World War, to their dead, and especially to name those of the dead whose graves are not known.

The Australian servicemen named in this register died in the battlefields of the Somme, Arras, the German advance of 1918 and the Advance to Victory. The memorial stands within Villers-Bretonneux Military Cemetery, which was made after the Armistice when graves were brought in from other burial grounds in the area and from the battlefields.

Both the cemetery and memorial were designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens. The memorial was unveiled by King George VI on 22 July 1938.


































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Old 03-11-2014, 10:50 AM   #58
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Villers-Bretonneux

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Old 03-11-2014, 10:52 AM   #59
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Villers-Bretonneux

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Old 03-11-2014, 10:57 AM   #60
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Villers-Bretonneux

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