Our Road of Remembrance, Ors & Thiepval, Northern France

In En-Route, Europe, France, Our Journeys, Trip-Types, World Travel by JanisLeave a Comment

Wilfred Owen to the Thiepval Memorial.

Our mini road trip continued, and we left Ypres in Belgium to head south into France, on our way to Amiens.

The Collected Poems of Wilfred Owen.

With this region of Belgium and France being cloaked in so much history, we’d planned a few stops along the way.

Wilfred Owen

One place Gary really wanted to visit was Ors. During Gary’s High School days, he studied the works of the poet Wilfred Owen, and it was in Ors in northern France that Wilfred Owen lost his life in World War I.

The Sambre–Oise Canal, Ors, France

The renowned war poet Lieutenant Wilfred Owen, who had received the Military Cross, was part of the Manchester Regiment.

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.

So bitterly close

Unfortunately, Wilfred lost his life on 4th November 1918 aged 25, one week before the war came to an end at 11am on 11 November 1918.

Locks on the Sambre–Oise Canal, Ors, France

Wilfred Owen is buried alongside his fellow soldiers in the Communal Cemetery in Ors. Our timing could have been better when visiting here, as the Commonwealth War Graves Commission was doing a fabulous job of attending to the headstones.

Wilfred Owen's Headstone, Ors, France
Maintaining the graves, Ors, France

However, Gary managed to take a quick photo before it was given a further clean.

Last Letter

Wilfred Owen spent his last nights in the cellars of this forest house, and from here he wrote his last letter to his mother.

The Last Letter, Ors, France

 The Forester’s House is now a museum to Owen, and his poetry is projected on the walls inside.

The Foresters House at Pommereuil, Ors, France

Wilfred’s mother was informed by telegram of his death on Armistice Day, as the church bells were ringing in Shrewsbury as a celebration of the end of the war.

Tempted to?

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, SIXT car hire cover all budgets and allow you to pick up and drop off at different destinations.

Thiepval Memorial

We left Ors with heavy hearts; however, nothing quite prepared us for the Thiepval Memorial.

The Thiepval Memorial, Thiepval, France

As we turned the corner, the memorial that faces you is incredible. Sitting high above the River Somme, it looks down to where some of the bloodiest battles of the First World War took place.

The Towering Thiepval Memorial, Thiepval, France

The memorial commemorates over 72,000 men of British and South African forces, who died during the Somme battles prior to 20th March 1918 and have no known grave. Over 90% of those remembered on this monument died between July and November 1916, just five months.

So many names, Thiepval, France
Wreath of the Somme 1916, Thiepval, France

Did you know?

That the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC), maintains cemeteries and memorials at 23,000 locations, in more than 150 countries and territories.

In such a short time

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.

Their Name Liveth for Evermore, Thiepval, France

The Thiepval Memorial can be seen for miles around and stands over 45 metres in height. It is the largest Commonwealth memorial to the missing in the world.

The Cross of Sacrifice in front of the Thiepval Memorial, Thiepval, France

Construction began in 1928 and was unveiled by Prince Edward, Prince of Wales on 1st August 1932.

Anglo-French Cemetery

Just beyond the memorial is the Thiepval Anglo-French Cemetery. The cemetery contains the graves of 300 Commonwealth servicemen and 300 French servicemen.

The Anglo-French Cemetery, Thiepval, France

All laid out in military precision, most of the headstones were honouring the grave of an unknown soldier.

Inspired to visit Ors & Thiepval??

By basing yourselves at Amiens, not only do you get the chance to visit the poignant memorials but, you can also discover this historic cathedral city.

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About the Author

Janis

Janis, the co-founder of Our World for You, was born in London and raised in Kent and the Isle of Wight.Along with Gary her partner, they have been travelling part time since 1995. In 2016, they decided that enough was enough with the 9 to 5, so armed with the knowledge and experience that they had gained on their adventures, that they wanted to inspire others to travel the world near and far.

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Our Road of Remembrance, Ors & Thiepval, Northern France was last modified: November 9th, 2018 by Janis