Hot wives of Ypres

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A decade after the end of WW1, the British Legion organised for 11, veterans and war widows to visit the battlefields of the Somme and Ypres, before marching to the Menin Gate in Ypres on 8 August Inexactly 90 years on, the Great Pilgrimage 90 saw 1, branches, and thousands of members and representatives from the UK and abroad, help The Royal British Legion recreate their original pilgrimage.

Here at Leger Holidays, we are immensely proud to have been a part of this magnificent event. It was an absolute honour to have helped make this happen, and not only are we thankful to our many coach crews and Battlefield Hot wives of Ypres who took part, but also each and every person who ed us and make this one of our most memorable moments of Leger Hot wives of Ypres.

To commemorate the event, we have put together a moving collection of s from our Battlefield Guides who ed us for GP Read all about their fascinating stories, below. It all started for me one day in I was in a military cemetery on the Somme battlefield staring down at my own family name on a hetone. On a cold, blowy April day I then found myself walking, as he did, across the same field 85 years after he was mortally wounded. Fast forward 17 years ago and I found myself on the same Somme battlefield guiding 40 enthusiastic British Legion members as part of their GP90 commemorations.

Hot wives of Ypres

Although I had been organising and leading battlefield tours for many years, it was the first time I had been asked to guide such a large group and, being part of the Leger Group, I was determined to make the tour a success, although I was a bit apprehensive! As we toured such iconic places such as Vimy RidgeDelville WoodHill 60 and Arrasit was an exhilarating experience.

Hot wives of Ypres

I was able to share my Hot wives of Ypres and knowledge with everyone on board, many of who were veterans from recent conflicts. The impact of the stories I told the passengers was immense, and everyone shared in the shock, amazement and grief of the Victoria Cross winners, boy soldiers, shot at dawn men and ordinary soldiers who carried out incredibly brave actions.

I told the story of how 3 Victoria Crosses were won on Hill 60, in the midst of a gas attack. On the Arras Memorial, they discovered Walter Tull, a professional footballer from my home town who became an officer, despite suffering dreadful racism. At the Thiepval Memorial, they learned about Private John Dewsbury who wrote a beautiful letter to his mother as he lay mortally wounded in a shell hole.

I told these stories with tears in my eyes. It was an experience that nobody who was there on those very hot August days will ever forget. Or me either.

Hot wives of Ypres

Private John Dewsbury who wrote a beautiful letter to his mother as he lay mortally wounded in a shell hole. On Monday we visited Ypres now Ieper and the surrounding area, including Hill 60, Messines, Zonnebeke and Tyne Cot Cemetery — the final resting place Hot wives of Ypres almost 12, British and Commonwealth servicemen. We spent Tuesday on the Somme and at Arras, visiting Delville Wood where we found a large howitzer shell sticking out of the ground — and left it well aloneThiepvalVimy Ridge and the Arras Memorial.

Wednesday was the focal point of the pilgrimage. The veterans paraded through Ypres: 1, standard bearers and 1, wreath layers, led by the Royal Marines Band. It was an impressive and moving day. Towards the end of the trip, one of the group asked me if I had enjoyed it. As a freelance historian and guide, I was fortunate to be working with Leger.

They handled the complex logistics involved in such a large operation with great professionalism and provided support to those who needed it at all hours of the day. You can relax knowing that you are in safe hands. As a history teacher, I have led tours to the battlefield before for my school, but when I was given the job as guide for Coach for GP90 I was over the moon. My role was to lead members from the British Legion to historic sites around Ypres and the Somme before their parade.

My favourite activity was taking a series of photo cards of soldiers who had come from Wiltshire and whose bodies were never found; their names being on the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing. My group loved the idea and were keen to get involved. For me though, it was parade day that I was most looking forward to. The sheer sense of determination from the Legion members who either carried a wreath or held the standard was very moving. For each person who took part they were not just representing their branch, but their county, the nation as a whole and the memory of the Hot wives of Ypres and women who gave their lives for the freedoms we observe today.

That is the reason so many took part and the reason why I wanted to be part of this anniversary. It will be one of the proudest moments of all our lives. The weight of responsibility each person must have felt was equalled with their own sense of pride and can be seen in photographs and on the televised screens. A special mention must go to Bill Dobson, the standard bearer from Edington was one of the oldest members of the group and his sense of duty and regard to his standard saw that he held it throughout the Hot wives of Ypres march.

Hot wives of Ypres

It is this level of respect and utter sense of duty that I will take away from GP90 and Hot wives of Ypres hope that I get to pass this on to all the pupils that I teach at my school. The legacy of this event is that in another hundred years, younger generations are still paying their respects for the generation that sacrificed it all. Not only were the footsteps of 11, strong some ninety years retraced through the battlefields of France and Flanders, but this trip also witnessed new legacies, stronger bonds forged and lasting memories for all involved.

As one of the sixty unprecedented battlefield guides to accompany the trip, it was our job to ensure both the smooth running of such a vast logistical operation and to provide our groups with information and all-around care.

The trip was split between a two day guided tour of the major areas and battles of the Western Front visiting locations around the Battle of the Somme, Arras and the Ypres Salient. As a first time guide at 25, it was incredible to see and speak to so many people in one location for the same purpose of commemoration. Hundreds of pilgrims would make their way to a site where the mood would often be lively and vibrant both on the coach and within the vast crowds walking the ground, yet when congregating at a location the atmosphere would be one of quiet, personal reflection.

The final day before departing witnessed all pilgrims form up to march through the Belgian town of Ypres where 1 in 4 British and Commonwealth soldiers who fought during the First World War were killed in defence of. As sixty coaches departed from the town, a sense of accomplishment and pride could be felt by everyone involved. The Great Pilgrimage of had achieved all it had set out to do and more.

Legion Standard Bearers and Wreath layers travelled from across the commonwealth to recreate the first pilgrimage of What a sad occasion it must have been when pilgrims made the long journeys to France and Belgium. We guided the GP90 clients on a battlefield tour of France and Belgium on a strict timetable selected specifically by the Royal British Legion in conjunction with Leger Tours. We visited iconic memorials like the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing on the Somme.

It contains the names of over 72, soldiers whose remains were never recovered for formal burial. It Hot wives of Ypres tall and proud on the Thiepval Ridge and can be seen from across the wide-ranging battlefield. This cemetery is the largest Commonwealth War Hot wives of Ypres Cemetery in the world with almost burials and deed by eminent architect Sir Herbert Baker. On an arched stone wall at the rear of the cemetery stands one of four memorials to the missing within the Ypres Salient. The memorial contains the names of almost missing soldiers who died in Flanders.

The cemetery and memorial stand overlooking the town of Ypres on what was the gentle ridge leading up to the nearby village of Passchendaele. What a day we had in Ypres Wipers. The GP90 Pilgrimage and parade were amazing. The colour, music, the splendour and the dignity of the parade was outstanding.

The emotion of the occasion got to many visitors and participants and many a tear was shed during the beautiful service of remembrance. The Menin Gate itself was surrounded by over a thousand wreaths. The ghosts of Menin Gate no doubt looked on with great satisfaction and pride that their sacrifice in to was never forgotten.

Hot wives of Ypres

Hot wives of Ypres will remember them. In the lead up to Christmas, German soldiers on various parts of the British sector of the front were seen to be placing lanterns on their Hot wives of Ypres, in some cases Christmas Trees, and reports of carol singing were also received. Many British soldiers were initially suspicious of this, but gradually the Truce spread. In some cases it lasted a few hours, in others it lasted several days.

Thousands and thousands of men on both sides took part. Despite some recent films, the Truce really only took place on the British sector of the front. Whether this was because British soldiers felt some natural affinity with the Germans due to shared history and culture is difficult to say. On the French front there was little desire for fraternisation, and while there were some isolated examples of a Truce, most were related to burying the dead after recent fighting.

The nature of the battlefield, with shell holes and barbed wire, made such a match difficult anyway, but footballs were used for physical training when out of the trenches, and it is unlikely if any were available. So no organised match, and Germany did not win! For many soldiers in the front line area there was a practical reason for a Truce: to bury the dead. The smell was terrible, and soldiers wanted to bury their comrades, so one of the most common activities that day was not to share your rations with Fritz, but to find and bury your dead.

In many cases soldiers did give each other gifts once the Truce was active. Opposing soldiers swapped cap badges and buttons, food and drink, and some took photographs of each other, as at this stage of the war personal cameras were not banned. German soldiers brought a barrel of beer to the men of 2 nd Royal Welsh Fusiliers, for which they gave plum puddings in return.

But the beer was of poor quality to the hardened Welsh regulars so it was not a popular present! Not every German unit wanted a Truce, and not every British unit agreed to participate. Some units were proud of their martial reputation and did not want to be seen to fraternise, and even in sectors where there was a Truce, some soldiers did not take part: having lost mates or family members in the war, as well as the diet of anti-German propaganda that had started on the outbreak of war, they perhaps had little inclination for it. Along the British front on 25 th December more Hot wives of Ypres seventy British and Commonwealth soldiers were killed or died of wounds.

With shelling, random sniper and machine-gun fire, for many soldiers Christmas Day was a typical period of trench warfare with the usual losses. Burying those killed in the attack of 18 December. Having German ancestors, he felt some kinship to the enemy he met that day, and it was a life changing moment for him: one German soldier told Williamson that he was fighting for King, Country and Freedom, something he could not square that with the fact that supposedly he was fighting with the British Army for the same thing.

Later in life Williamson used to get very morose on Christmas Day, thinking back to the Truce and the terrible loss of life in the war.

Hot wives of Ypres

While aspects of the Christmas Truce have been exaggerated, and there may have been no football, it was a truly remarkable day. Soldiers who were enemies stopped fighting and met each other on the battlefield.

They obeyed a basic human instinct, rather than just follow orders. As the majority involved were professional soldiers they may have seen it as a rare opportunity to have a day off. Others would have been curious to actually meet a German, as it was likely few ever had. Whatever the reason, it was Hot wives of Ypres event unique to All of this happened at Passchendaele; at times the landscape was as dangerous to soldiers as was the enemy shooting at them.

Arguably it was the worst battlefield on which British soldiers served between and ; both in terms of the physical conditions and also the terrible scale of the fighting. Hell Fire Croner What made Passchendaele such a terrible battle? It is not widely known that the first day of the battle, 31 st Julywas a success.

Most objectives Hot wives of Ypres taken, and the Germans pushed off the high ground at both Pilkem and Bellewaarde. But it was a costly day, too: more than 6, British soldiers died at Ypres that day, one of the worst in Flanders during four long years of war. Success, but at a cost: but another factor came into play that first day: rain. It began to rain that evening and pretty much did not stop raining for a ificant period of the rest of the battle. It was the wettest summer in living memory, with huge amounts of rainfall. That in combination with the unparalleled use of artillery by both sides, the shells just destroyed the Flanders landscape.

Trenches, buildings, and the drainage systems all pulverised by warfare on an industrial scale. The water had nowhere to run except into the holes in the ground occupied by soldiers, or into the lunar landscape of shell Hot wives of Ypres. The mud became glutinous, in places almost liquid; and everything from men to every man-made object disappeared into it. Shell Smashed Landscape at Passchendaele Attacks failed, and the bodies of the fallen could not be recovered; with the mud and shell-fire, all trace of them was lost and Passchendaele is a battlefield that has one of the highest levels of soldiers with no known grave, now commemorated on the Menin Gate or Tyne Cot Memorial.

Hot wives of Ypres Hot wives of Ypres

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