Today we crossed the border into France to visit the Somme. We had a very early start to make the most of the day and set off to Newfoundland Park, a little corner of Canada here in France. We were kept busy enroute in the bus singing the songs of soldiers of the first world war and learning about the battles which took place on 1st July 1916.
We started off by following in the footsteps of the soldiers of The Newfoundland Regiment from their trenches, across no mans land to their resting place on the German front line. Y Ravine Cemetery was the first that we actually entered, and it was a very moving experience. We then visited the memorial to the 51st Division and enjoyed the pipes and drums of the PL band.
After lunch we visited the Thiepval Memorial to the missing and searched the almost 74,000 names for our own. Once again, the PL pipers played, this in time as a tribute to our fallen relatives. From here we stopped off at the impressive Lochnagar Crater enroute to the equally impressive Canadian National Memorial at Vimy Ridge.
We all reflected at the end of today on the enormity of the battle of the Somme, and we’re also very proud of our pipers and drummers for their magnificent playing today.