A Reality Check in the Somme

We had visited Gallipol where both my grandfathers had fought.  However my Pop (maternal grandfather) and his brother Laurie went on to serve in France, in Flanders and the Somme.

More amazingly, his younger brother Tom and four of his future brothers-in-law were also fighting in France.  Luckily they all returned home, but not without injuries.  Laurie lost an arm to a sniper’s bullet and Tom would succumb to gas poisoning.  A cousin didn’t make it home and is buried in Flanders.

So we have just toured the Somme.  The day was grey and wet, not a perfect tourist day, but horrible enough to give us an insight into the awful conditions Pop and his extended family endured.

Once again my thoughts went out to my ancestors and a certain relief lifted my heart as I realised how unlikely it is that my own sons would have to go and fight a senseless war.

National Australian Memorial, Villers-Bretonneux, softened by rain drops.

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