Spring Battlefields 2019 - Kathryn's history blog

Wednesday, 27 March 2019

Spring Battlefields 2019


Tomorrow morning I'm setting off for Belgium to spend an exciting week on the battlefields. I'm really looking forward to being back out walking and cycling on the Western Front, although it doesn't feel all too long since I was last on the Somme (the last six months have completely flown by).

This week I will be mostly visiting the Ypres Salient, with routes planned to Pilckem Ridge and the sites of the Second Battle of Ypres, as well as following in the footsteps of the 19th (Western Division) at the Battle of Messines, and the 1st Canadian Division at Passchendaele. I'm also going to spend a day in northern France, visiting Neuve Chapelle and Aubers Ridge. I really enjoyed the day I spent in this area last September so it will be good to see more of the sites of the 1915 battles, this time driving down from the north.

I have also planned my trip to coincide with cycling's Flanders Week and I'm so excited to be going to watch Gent-Wevelgem, one of my favourite races, on Sunday. So far, the weather forecast looks favourable so I should be able to get in lots of great cycling.

Once again I will be staying at Talbot House. I've based myself there on my last two trips to Ypres and I really love going back there. Not only is the B&B really good, but there is such a special feeling in the house from its heritage as a haven for soldiers in the First World War, making it the perfect place to stay. The house's history also sits neatly alongside the themes I am researching in my PhD,  through social religion and soldiers' connection with faith while at war. I hope that spending a week there will bring me lots of good inspiration.

As usual, I will be updating my blog daily with a diary of my visit. My trip this time will hopefully be enhanced by my new Linesman maps, which give me access to a wealth of original First World War maps through my iPad. Look out for lots of snippets gleaned from this during my posts, alongside the usual mix of photos and soldier's graves.

My aim is to get each day's posts up by around 7pm (GMT) each day, but be sure to keep an eye on my twitter @kathrynww1 and my instagram @kt_kit_kat for more frequent updates throughout the days. I'm looking forward to sharing my trip with you and please, as ever, get in contact if you have any recommendations of places I may otherwise have missed or if you would like any specific grave/ memorial photos.

Kathryn

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