We are on our way home. Leaving our brave Men and Women of the Commonwealth behind. A moving trip that has bought laughter and sadness. Next stop Southampton!!!
We travel back tomorrow to Porchfield. We have one more wreath to lay and that is at Parkhurst Military Cemetery. This trip has been emotional and full of pathos. There are fields upon field of Golden Barley singing in the wind on open land where brave men have died. We have visited Commonwealth and German Cemeteries and experienced the same feeling. What a waste of life and for what. The chest thumping and bravado of the men marching off to fight for the Empire squashed in a matter of minutes. Harry Patch summed it up. ”Politicians who took us to war should have been given the guns and told to settle their differences themselves, instead of organising nothing better than legalised mass murder. “To all those brave souls. RIP
Having been to Ypre many times I have driven to the Hooge Crater which is the grounds of a hotel off of the Menin Road. I left Nigel to wander the grounds and see the old trench system which for a fee of 1 Euro you can visit. Then to Zonnebeke and the Passchendaele Museum. After this it’s Tyne Cot. Then to Oak Dump-to lay a wreath on my Great Uncle George Christensen’s grave and then to Woods Cemeteryto honour our last but one soldier from Porchfield Gunner A. Thompson.
Got tent down quickly and left Albert heading for Flesquieres Hill Cemetery to pay our respects to Private Christopher Buckett then onto Vis en Artois Memorial to lay a wreath in memory of Harlem’s Edward Osborn. His body like so many having not been found. We then left France crossed over the border to Poperinge in Belgium and headed for Mendinghem Cemetery. Porchfield has two men by buried here. Harry Saunders and Leonard Punch the latter’s name is not-on the Porchfield War Memorial. Tonight we are in Ypre and will be laying a wreath to remember George Prangnell who again has no known grave.
Day off today before head to Ypre tomorrow Visiting The Newfoundland Memorial at Beaumont Hamil. Then onto Sunken Lane. Then Thiepval,and then to Fircourt German Cemetery which has 10,000 men buried in it
Felt very humble today. At the Australian memorial 11000 names of missing soldiers one of which is commemorated in the Porchfield War Memorial. Tomorrow Thiepval. 72000 with no known grave.