First Stop – Canada! Our first visit took us to Newfoundland Park where the Pipes and Drums of the 3rd Battalion Pals made their debut and paid their respects to 51st Highlanders. Kieran played an emotional Flowers of the Forest reducing our tour guide to tears. You know PL have arrived when they reduce the tour guide to tears 🙂 The entire piping and drumming ensemble lead us through the Somme battlefield with The Green Hills, The Battle O’er and Scotland the Brave.
Our next stop was Thiepval Memorial where Highland Cathedral was played in tribute to the 73,000 who went missing in the battle of The Somme. Our Hearts of Midlothian supporters (Kieran and Amy but most certainly not Col. Binnie this year) had the opportunity to place a cross of remembrance at the Contalmaison cairn commemorating the fallen from McCraes battalion.
Imaginations were stretched as we then visited the sight of the Lochnagar crater – the largest in the history of WWI. We then visited Dartmoor cemetry where we heard the accounts of the oldest casualty of WWI, a Victoria Cross winner and the story of George and Robert Lee – a father and son who lost their lives on the same day. Last stop in France was at the monumental Vimy Ridge, a tribute to the Canadian missing. Back in Belgium for dinner to satisfy the appetites for chips.
– Sergeant Bell