A Tall Story


Those of you who’ve followed this site for a few years now might know that, although I’m not really a collector as such, I do have some battlefield relics I’ve picked up over the years on my travels, and I do splash out on the occasional Memorial Plaque, or Death Penny if you prefer, such as the one pictured above that came into my possession only today.  I broke a golden rule in buying it, in that I have never, up to now, bought one that is not unique.  How many John Smiths are there?  There is nothing else on a Death Penny, other than a name, to distinguish one from the next.  That way lies madness.  And bankruptcy.  And for me, the whole point of owning these evocative items is the direct link with a specific soldier who gave his life for me, for us, however indirectly.  Nonetheless, I knew that Hayat could not possibly be unique, but I don’t own an Indian Penny, and the price wasn’t excessive, so I bought it. Continue reading

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Fromelles Part One – Rue-David Military Cemetery


On 11th November 1918 Charles Bean, Australia’s official war historian, surveyed the battlefield of Fromelles, “We found the old No Man’s Land simply full of our dead.”  On this tour we shall visit the cemeteries where the majority of the Australians who fell at Fromelles in July 1916 are now buried. Continue reading

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The Battle of Fromelles Tour Map

Usually I don’t tell you in advance which cemeteries we shall be visiting on our tours, but on this occasion you get to see the tour map before the tour.  This is where we are off to next, and if you compare it with the map for last year’s Tour of the Nursery, you can see that this tour begins very close to where we started that one; Y Farm Cemetery, where the Nursery Tour began, is a little to the south west of Bois-Grenier, and Rue-David Military Cemetery, where our next tour will begin, is just a little further west.  From there, though, we shall be heading into new territory, continuing west, and then south, until we arrive in Fromelles itself, before we finish with a brief visit to Sailly-sur-la-Lys.

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Klerken War Memorial


While we’re in the area, this is the small town of Klerken (Clercken, as was), situated about three miles north west of Houthulst Forest, half way between Houthulst itself and the town of Diksmuide, where we paid a visit a while back. Continue reading

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Houthulst Belgian Military Cemetery


The colours of autumn stain the trees of the Forest of Houthulst as the evening sun begins to set. Continue reading

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Arras – Roclincourt Military Cemetery


Two and a half miles due north of the centre of the city of Arras, Roclincourt Military Cemetery is one of four cemeteries in the environs of Roclincourt, although the only one actually in the village itself. Continue reading

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The Arras Memorial & Faubourg d’Amiens Cemetery


Before we leave the city of Arras, it would be remiss of us not to pay our respects at the Arras Memorial. Continue reading

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