Autumn Battlefields 2018: Somme-ward Bound - Kathryn's history blog

Monday, 10 September 2018

Autumn Battlefields 2018: Somme-ward Bound

Today I'm embarking on my longest battlefields trip yet. I'll be spending a week in the British Sector of the French front, based near Hebuterne on the Somme. I'll be visiting some familiar places - my visit starts by walking Hawthorn Ridge, just as I did two years ago - but I'll also be venturing slightly further afield to less well-trod sites.
On Thursday I will be driving up to Loos to visit the battlefields of September 1915, as well as to Festubert which saw battle that Spring. On Saturday I will be looking towards the end of the war, with a cycle through the sites of the Battle of Cambrai and the 100 Days Offensive as far as the Canal du Nord.
As usual, I will be following Paul Reed's 'Walking the Somme' and visiting the graves of local soldiers. In addition, I will also visit the resting places of a number of Army chaplains, and the alumni of Pembroke College,  Oxford where I'll be beginning my PhD research in a fortnight's time. I have also got a number of photos taken by Arthur Yapp (the YMCA's general secretary) shortly after the war that I hope to be able to compare a then and now on.
As has also become tradition on my battlefields visits I will be uploading a blog post with a diary of each day in addition to regular Twitter updates (@KathrynWW1).
I am writing this now from a McDonald's in Newhaven. I'm taking the overnight ferry to Dieppe which means I'll be arriving bright and early tomorrow on the Somme. The weather forecast is for 25 degree sunshine so hopefully it' will be a lovely morning for a walk!
Kathryn

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