Arras War Memorial

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The inscription above the Poilu remembers the ‘Children of Arras, Dead in the Defense of Right’.

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Arras war memorial can be found in the centre of the Place de Maréchal Foch near the railway station,…

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…and commemorates the dead of two World Wars.

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“The French Soldier – yesterday Soldier of God, today Soldier of Humanity, will always be the Soldier of Right.”

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Colloquial English translation please Chris.

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The wonderful bas-relief on the western face of the memorial depicts scenes of agriculture, industry and motherhood.

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You will probably have noticed that this memorial is, quite literally, riddled with bullet holes.

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And the equally impressive bas-relief on the eastern face?  War.

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Bullet holes of various calibres, by the looks of it.

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During May 1940 another Battle of Arras took place as the British and French desperately attempted to stem the German advance through France…

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…and I reckon these bullet holes tell the tale of the fighting in the streets of Arras at that time…

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…although it wouldn’t surprise me if the odd drunken German soldier added to them during the occupation years.

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20160510_215129Duncan and I brave the elements for a few night shots,…

20160510_215253…some okay,…

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…and some not, I’m afraid.

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20160510_215154Despite the chunks that have been shot out of him, the Poilu retains his composure and poise.  He doesn’t care.  He knows who wins in the end.

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Close-up of the bullet-spattered British tank we saw earlier on the eastern face of the memorial.

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