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What to add to Vimy and Beaumont-Hamel (AnselmAdorne please :-) )

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We are finally firmed up on our trip to France in June with our two boys 8 and 11- and specifically to a day trip to visit Vimy. We will be taking the train to Amiens, return train from Arras, driving between the two via Beaumont-Hamel and Vimy.
AnselmAdorne in particular, (but open to anyone!) - I have read your posts - the uncle letters was amazing (and you have given me some feedback earlier) , and I am using your links to research, but do you have a suggestion for another specific cemetery in that general area to add to our itinerary? It doesn't have to be Canadian, though one thing I would ideally like to be able to do is find a name on one of the war memorials in our local area, and then find that grave (don't know if that will be possible, but the search should be interesting).
Any thoughts?

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    If I understand correctly, you will be taking the train to Amiens (from Paris?) renting a car, then returning to Paris the same day from Arras.

    A visit to Beaumont-Hamel, lunch and then Vimy will take up the best part of the day so you won't have much time for other sites. You will, however, have time for a good visit to each. Don't miss the tour of the tunnels at Vimy. If you haven't yet seen them, Veterans Affairs Canada has excellent websites for these memorials:

    There are many cemeteries in the vicinity of each site (in fact there is a small cemetery right at the Beaumont-Hamel trenches.) At Vimy, the closest cemetery to the Memorial is Canadian Cemetery No. 2 (there is no No.1). Also nearby are Givency Road and Givenchy-en-Gohelle Canadian Cemeteries. Of course there are many Canadians buried in the many other Commonwealth War Graves Cemeteries in the vicinity. You might want to visit the nearby Cabaret Rouge Cemetery, as it was the site of the grave of the Canadian unknown soldier. When his body was removed to be reburied at the National War Memorial in Ottawa, a replacement marker was placed at the former gravesite.

    If you wish to find a particular grave, you can do so by using the search facility on the CWGC site at:
    If you have enough details, it will tell you in which CWGC cemetery that person was buried (or if there is no grave, on which memorial--Vimy or the Menin Gate at Ypres for Canadians--the name is listed. You can find out from the CWGC website where the cemetery is located (and once you are nearby, there are road signs to direct you). At the entrance to each cemetery, you will find two books, one for visitors to sign and the other with a list of the graves and the exact location of each.

    There are many other Canadian memorials of the First World War, particularly in Ypres and vicinity, but you will not have time to visit them in the same day. However, if you think you have time, you could stop by the British Somme Memorial at Thiepval, which is very close to Beaumont-Hamel. At Vimy, I would recommend a visit to the French National Memorial at Notre Dame de Lorette which is larger even than the well-known memorial at Verdun. It is quite close to the Cabaret Rouge cemetery.

    You may want to prepare for your visit with some reading. To start I would recommend Pierre Berton's "Vimy" and David Macfarlane's "The Danger Tree", a novel which culminates in the destruction of the Newfoundland Regiment at Beaumont-Hamel.

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    Thanks very much - yes the itinerary is train to Amiens and return from Arras having driven there via Beaumont-Hamel and then Vimy. And I agree, I think (and hope) that those two visits will take the bulk of the day, and we don't want to rush either - I appreciate the reccomendation of the French Memorial at Notre Dame de Lorette - I will get all the particulars of that, then it can be something we can "add if time permits" rather then force into the itinerary. And thanks for the book tips - in particular The Danger Tree. I will look them up - agreed that research and reading will make this experience better. My husband in particular was taken by the Stone Carvers, which gives an added dimension to the historical significance. Thank you for the info as well. We have started regular visits to war memorials in the area, researching names to try and find in a cemetary in the area. Even that exercise is compelling - the number of war memorials in our small Southern Ontario towns that show several members of the same family. It makes it more tangible to our kids to have a name, and be able to say "the assistant coach of your hockey team would have gone away to this war" etc.

    Thanks again for the information!

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