Back at the Hotel
Well the first full day of touring around is complete. I managed to drive in France without breaking any major laws or damaging any vehicles. Most of the cementaries and memorials are very remote. Without a car, or being part of a bus tour, you really can’t get there.
There were busloads of students at Beaumont Hamel and Thievpal. The British Memorial at Thievpal is the ‘largest’ British war memorial. I don’t know if they mean size or number of dead. Likely it is largest on both counts. When you approach the structure you see what looks like weathered marble. It is not until you get closer that you realize the pattern in the marble are thousands of names (over 70,000 of them). There are national memorials for most commonwealth participants. These memorials, like Thievpal and Beaumonth Hamel have the lists of the dead with no known grave from the battle of the Somme.
I picked up the Holt’s Battlefield Guide for the Somme, I had the Ypres one prior to my arrival. It is just not possible to get to every memorial so the Guide will help me prioritize my next few days.