From Wilfred Owen to the Thiepval Memorial
This particular region of Belgium and France is cloaked in so much history, it almost feels like every road you travel along another touching cemetery can be found. With this in mind we’d planned quite a few stops along the way, spending time visiting these often-solitary memorials of remembrance.
Where are Ors and Thiepval?
How to get to there
- By Car
If you’re venturing from the UK, jump on Le Shuttle and tour France under your own steam.
Alternatively, it’s so easy to visit on a road trip. Rental Cars searches multiple well-known car hire brands and discovers the deals that suit you the best.
Remembering Wilfred OwenThe English poet and WWI soldier
During our remembrance road trip through northern France, there was one small village that Gary really wanted to visit, and that was Ors and the Sambre–Oise Canal. Ors witnessed some horrific intense fighting during World War I, especially in November 1918.
Through Gary’s High School days, he studied the works of the English poet Wilfred Owen, and it was in Ors in northern France that Wilfred Owen lost his life during the crossing of Sambre–Oise Canal in World War I.
The renowned war poet Lieutenant Wilfred Owen, who had received the Military Cross, was part of the Manchester Regiment. His touching war poetry reflected the horrors of battling in the trenches and their suffering.
He fought alongside his fellow comrades at Sambre–Oise Canal, which saw one of the last Allied victories of World War I, prior to the Armistice with Germany.
Wilfred Owen came so bitterly closeOne week prior to Armistice
I love nothing more than planning a trip through France and so often I use the DK Eyewitness books. I find them extremely informative, easy to follow and the pictures and maps tempt you into discovering more.
We used a previous version of this book to plan our French road trips, now you can grab the revised copy.
Wilfred Owen’s last letterA note to his mum
Wilfred’s mother was informed by telegram of her son’s death on Armistice Day, as the church bells were ringing in her hometown of Shrewsbury, as a celebration of the end of the war.
The inscription on Wilfred Owen’s gravestone was chosen by his mother from one of Wilfred’s poems and read “SHALL LIFE RENEW THESE BODIES? OF A TRUTH ALL DEATH WILL HE ANNUL".
Discovering the Great War sites yourself
Discover more of northern France and create your own tour around the poignant battlefields of the Somme. It’s so easy to do this on a road trip, base yourself in the lovely city of Amiens.
Rental Cars searches multiple well-known car hire brands and discovers the deals that suit you the best.
Visiting Thiepval MemorialMemorial to the Missing of the Somme
The Thiepval Memorial commemorates over 72,000 men of British and South African forces, who lost their lives during the Somme battles prior to 20th March 1918 and have no known grave.
Shockingly over 90% of those young lives which are remembered on this monument died between July and November 1916, just five short months.
World War I, the SommeSo many lives lost in such a short time
Visiting the Thiepval Memorial is so moving and hard to believe that the majority of the almost never-ending list of names died during the Somme offensive of 1916.
It’s so difficult at times to comprehend the extent of the number of men who fell during this horrific time. Then when you see them listed one after another, it’s so heart wrenching.
Visiting the Anglo-French Battle MemorialAt the feet of Thiepval monument
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