Tag: War Memorials

Walking around Vic-Sur-Aisne

The Eurocamp where we stayed at for ten days was located at the La Croix du Vieux Pont at Berny-Riviera, which was conveniently located right beside the very quaint French town called Vic-Sur-Aisne in Picardy (about 100 kilometres northeast of Paris).  The husband specifically chose this site because of its location – not that far from Paris and Disneyland.  As for me, the location was perfect because I was more interested in the French countryside.

Come and have a little walk with us around this very pretty little town:

 First stop:  A little patisserie and boulangerie.  There’s little T pointing at the huge meringues by the shop window.  It was too big for her, she never finished it!  We bought very delicious and the softest croissants I’ve ever tasted in my life.  Sorry folks, I can never be a food-blogger – when it’s in front of me, taking photos is far from my mind.  Eating is more important!

The Chateau de Vic-Sur-Aisne dominates the town with its very presence.  Unluckily for us, it was a bank holiday Monday, so we couldn’t go inside to have a look.  So instead we just took some photos outside, which actually was enough.

Would’ve loved to try out this restaurant, but it always seemed shut!  One thing I’ve noticed, they don’t seem to open really long.  I’m wondering how businesses survive in France with what seems to me, very little opening hours?

 I love walking through small towns in France, everywhere you look is pretty and quaint.

Love the shutters and flower-boxes.

And there’s little T of course, doing her funny dance in the middle of the plaza.

The Town Hall.

More shutters and flowers….

Even this rusty shutters look pretty!

We kept walking until we reached the Vic-Sur-Aisne French War Cemetery.

This is another moving WWI cemetery/memorial where hundreds of French soldiers lay buried.

I didn’t notice, until my husband pointed out to me that the crosses were actually back-to-back.  Two graves, not one.

And if you look closely at all the names listed here, most of them died really young – men in their late teens, early 20s.  My husband said that just like the Somme, the place, Vic-Sur, was also a frontline in both WWI and WW2.

I find it so surprising that inspire of being ravished by both wars, somehow France still managed to preserve so many of its lovely and historical buildings.  Thank goodness for that.  Like I mentioned on this post about the war memorial in the Somme – the sad and frightening thing about all this, is that war is still happening today as I type this.  As if we have never learned our lessons from our past. Will we ever?

The walk ended in a lighter note as little T spied a playground near the woods.  Of course we had to stop and she had to play.

This post is linked-up with #CountryKids

And also:

 Hope everyone is having a lovely weekend!

M is for Memorial (Thiepval Memorial)

Yesterday was the anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War, for this week’s #alphabetphotography project, it’s only appropriate that my “M” stands for Memorial.

A famous American War Diplomat referred to the First World War as “the most seminal catastrophe of the 20th century, even worse than the WW2”.  And indeed it is evident in countries like France whose beautiful landscape became a horrifying battleground, you will know this as you drive around the French countryside where many graves will be seen dotted all over the fields.  Many times, I find myself holding my breath as we drove by and a lot of times, the mood inside our car became solemn driving past all those WWI cemeteries.

During the last day of our holiday in France, we visited the Thiepval Memorial in the Somme, which is probably one of the most important war memorials where 72, 195 British and South African men perished in the famous battle.  These fallen soldiers’ bodies were never found.

Little T looking out into the beautiful French landscape that has witnessed so much death in the past.

If you visit, you will find an inscription that reads:

Here are recorded names of officers and men of the British armies who fell on the Somme battlefields between July 1915 and March 1918 but to whom the fortune of war denied the known and honoured burial given to their comrade in death.

My husband found two of his Uncles names on the list of the dead soldiers whose bodies were never recovered.

At the back of the memorial, you will find a cemetery where many of these graves were unknown soldiers, 300 British and also 300 French graves.

Above photo is a  gravestone of one of the unknown British soldiers and in the French side, a single word is written, Inconnu (Unknown).

And on the cemetery’s cross of sacrifice are the words:

That the world may remember the common sacrifice of two and a half million dead, here have been laid side by side Soldiers of France and of the British Empire in eternal comradeship.

We left the Thiepval Memorial quiet, lost in each others thoughts, thinking of all those lives lost and all those bodies that still remaining missing today.

Have you visited a World War I memorial?

This post is linked-up with PODcast’s #alphabetphotographyproject.