A Little Light Reading

There are a few of you that I know of who are still around from the very early days of this website (and thank you so much), and, hopefully, a few more that I am maybe not aware of, but it did occur to me, with the Daily Postcards taking over the site for the moment – yes, there’ll be another in the morning – that even some of you long-timers may not have explored some of the early tours featured here.  So to make your life easy, ‘cos you’re a lazy lot, here are a few links that will take you to the first post in seven of the earlier tours, from which links at the end of each post will take you through the complete tour. 

The first link will take you to the start of the very first tour I published on this site, and one I had planned on repeating this year for a ‘Ten Years Later’ feature, although I can’t see that happening now.  Click here for a complete tour of Ploegsteert Wood.

The Battle of Messines in June 1917 was preceded by the firing of nineteen mines beneath the German front lines, and the next tour takes us across the Messines battlefield,…

…and its flooded mine craters, as we visit the cemeteries in the area.  Click here if that’s yer bag.

Zillebeke was the gateway to Hill 60, and the British cemeteries in the area tell the tale of over two years of continuous fighting.  We visited a few years ago, and you can take the tour with us by clicking here.

Baldrick and I once took a trip to the Belgian coast, from where we followed the River Yser south as far as Diksmuide, about twelve miles north of Ieper.

The Belgian sector of the front is less visited than the areas to its south, but well worth the effort, as you will find out if you click here.  This tour ties in with a later tour of Boesinghe, which can be found here.

The Battle of Fromelles in July 1916 was a catastrophe for the Australians, and we took a trip to the killing fields of northern France a few years back, which included a visit to the newest CWGC cemetery on the Western Front.  All is revealed here.

And lastly, a trip to the cemeteries where some of the men who fell in the final months of the war are buried, including one where 161 men lie, the earliest of whom died on 25th October 1918.  If that interests you, click here.

Keep safe, people.

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10 Responses to A Little Light Reading

  1. John says:

    Memory Lane is so much better in your town.

  2. Jon Trasler says:

    I had thought I had read all of your excellent posts MF but looking at some of these it seems not ! Time to put that to rights…

    • Magicfingers says:

      Music to my ears Jon (hope all is well btw). I hope you enjoy them! I’d like to know which posts, but only because I am nosy, although I might be able to work it out from statistics – you have prompted me to do a second Light Reading post at some point with some of the minor tours – thanks for that. A link to the Light Reading post has gone on Facebook too, so plenty of views coming in.

      • Jon Trasler says:

        All well here thankyou – hope the same for you and yours.

        The two I hadn’t read were the Messines one (though I had read in Lone Tree Cemetery post in isolation previously) and the one about Fromelles which I must confess I had no idea about what had happened there at all so it was quite the education !

        Have rearranged our next visit over there to September (all being well) so may well try and take in Fromelles and the surrounding area then amongst others now.

        • Magicfingers says:

          I think that above anywhere else I have been, Fromelles shows the advantage of any kind of contour in the landscape. It is so flat, with the not very big but hugely significant Aubers Ridge looking down on the battlefield, that you wonder how anyone would choose it as a place to attack. It is a must-visit area. There must surely still be mass graves to be found. By the way, because it is so flat, a visit after the harvest makes the land easier to read. And all totally overshadowed by the Somme. All well here Jon, thanks for asking.

          • Jon Trasler says:

            Good to hear MF !

            I must admit I am horribly ignorant of the part of the front from beyond Plugstreet south and westwards down to the Somme – so Fromelles, Neauve-Chapelle, Loos and even Arras/Vimy are pretty much unknown to me. Something else I need to rectify !

            That said before our first visit to Ypres and the Somme a couple of years back I had little knowledge of what had happened there either beyond the general facts of the war in those areas. Now its all a bit of an obsession for me to learn as much as I can about it all !

  3. Nick Kilner says:

    I have so much of this site still to explore as a relative newcomer. Thank you for the links, I shall enjoy them all I’m sure

  4. Magicfingers says:

    Jon, there’s a South of Ploegsteert category (Ploegsteert sub-category, top right of page) which will take you to the six cemeteries immediately south of Ploegsteert. Neuve Chapelle I have visited, photographed, but nothing more yet, Arras I know well enough (there’s an Arras category too), Vimy I have only passed by, and the same goes for Loos. Plenty for me to still see too.

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