Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

A Duty Nobly Done — Anselm and Margriet in Flanders and Picardy

A Duty Nobly Done — Anselm and Margriet in Flanders and Picardy

Old Jan 11th, 2009, 10:39 AM
  #61  
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 198
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Anselm (and Margriet), a wonderful report, as always. When we last visited Vimy, the monument was still shrouded under its reconstruction veil, and have thus never seen it except in photos. Heartstrings are a-tugging!
QueScaisJe is offline  
Old Jan 13th, 2009, 08:06 AM
  #62  
yk
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 25,923
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Finally caught up with the rest of the trip report. Just want to thank you again for such a wonderful journey you took us along.

I am going to link your TR to the "France trip reports" compilation thread.
http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...p;tid=35122116
yk is online now  
Old Jan 13th, 2009, 04:45 PM
  #63  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 4,494
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
yk, you are a gem! Many thanks for doing that.

I'm going to add a note about the new apartment we rented in the Paris apartments thread.

AA
AnselmAdorne is offline  
Old Jan 13th, 2009, 05:06 PM
  #64  
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 10,311
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Ta-daa, finished! Great report. I have no idea how you did all this, even after your detailed notes explaining it. I am highly impressed.

By the way, I had thought from your screen names that you and Margriet must share an interest in European history. Are you historians?
Leely2 is offline  
Old Jan 14th, 2009, 04:00 AM
  #65  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 4,494
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Leely, I'm delighted you are still making the "apartment chicken." We use that recipe every couple of weeks; we never tire of the flavours.

No, we're not historians. We've both read a lot of historical fiction (Anselm and his wife Margriet play a part in Dorothy Dunnett's Niccolo series), and it's an easy step from fiction to reading history. I find history is a natural companion to travel: with some historical background you can see what <i>is</i> and what <i>was</i>, which sort of doubles your pleasure.

We have two ideas in my mind for future trips. One is to spend a month in Paris and look at all of the sites where the French Resistance fought. The other is to go back to northeastern France and look at where the Americans fought in the Great War. (I'm thinking something like &quot;a Canadian follows the Americans through France.&quot

The Resistance idea will have to wait until Margriet retires, but it's never to early to start buying books.

AA
AnselmAdorne is offline  
Old Jan 14th, 2009, 05:10 AM
  #66  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 1,929
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Anselm you take my breath away. Unputdownable. I share with you the concept of seeing history as it was and as it is. Travel, history, literature and food....the world is out there.
gertie3751 is offline  
Old Jan 14th, 2009, 05:15 AM
  #67  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 57,091
Received 5 Likes on 3 Posts
hi again, anselm,

thank you for posting the links to the WW1 web-sites. when I have more time, I intend to start researching my grandad, who i mentioned before, and my great uncle, also called Harry, who was killed in action somewhere in France, i believe.

thanks again for the lovely trip report,

regards, ann
annhig is offline  
Old Feb 4th, 2009, 08:06 PM
  #68  
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 793
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
If you are interested in the French Resistance, you might want to spend time in some remote parts of the Auvergne where many hid out in the forests and there were battles as well. I found about about all of this visiting friends some years back who have a summer home near where one of the battles took place.
LaurenKahn1 is offline  
Old Feb 4th, 2009, 08:27 PM
  #69  
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 793
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I reread the entire thread. What a wonderful pilgrimage. It was not a trip. It was a pilgrimage.

Some years back I did a home exchange in Nancy, France. I took a day out of the trip and went to Verdun. I saw this very strange landscape there and knew it did not look normal. What I realized I was looking at were remains of the trenches. Of course, the edges had softened and the grass had regrown but there was no doubt about what I was seeing. It was a very strange feeling.

Should you go to Verdun make sure you see the ossuary where there are piles of bones from the area that were collected and interred after the war was over. Just piles of bones in a church. Who knows which bones were French or which bones were German. Does it matter? The piles of bones bring home (like the names on the Vietnam Wall in Washington, DC) the immensity of the loss.

By the way, did you know there is a Canadian cross of victory at Arlington Cemetery in Washington, DC? If you visit, it is very near the Challenger Memorial and right across from the Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers. It was donated to Arlington by the Canadian government in honor of those Americans who fought and died with Canadian forces. I always thought that the soldiers honored were those who fought for the Canadians in World War II, but perhaps it was World War I--or both World Wars.
LaurenKahn1 is offline  
Old Feb 19th, 2009, 04:51 AM
  #70  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 4,412
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Lauren

Thanks for the information as I was unaware of this monument at Arlington. It was placed to honour those Americans serving with the Canadian Forces who were killed in the First World War, but inscriptions for those serving in the Second World War and Korea are also on it.

http://tinyurl.com/bs6xo7

The Cross of Sacrifice (not Victory, a slight difference) can be found in every Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery with more than 40 graves.

I'll be sure to visit my next time in Washington.
laverendrye is offline  
Old Feb 19th, 2009, 02:55 PM
  #71  
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 793
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
You can't miss the Canadian Cross of Sacrifice if you go to the Changing of the Guard at Arlington. It is right across from where the Tourmobile stops at the Tomb of the Unknowns to the right of the Challenger and Discovery Memorials.
LaurenKahn1 is offline  
Old Feb 19th, 2009, 03:38 PM
  #72  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 4,494
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Lauren, I missed your post of February 5th.

I hadn't really thought of the trip as a pilgrimage, but it is a good description. I'm still working away on the photos and will eventually post a link.

I have visited Verdun and did see vestigial trenches, shell pock marks, and the ossuary. It was a sobering journey.

Thanks for the information about Arlington.

AA
AnselmAdorne is offline  
Old Feb 20th, 2009, 03:00 PM
  #73  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 25,071
Received 4 Likes on 3 Posts
I don't know how I missed this thread until now...

My cousin and I are planning a similar trip to visit the grave of our great uncle who was shot down September 20, 1918, in the early preparations for the Argonne-Meuse offensive and just 45 days before Armistice. He was a observation pilot of the 91st Aero Squadron.

From a letter written two weeks before his death:

"No, of course our work isn't very hard. One has to be wide awake and see everything that is going on and act very quickly at times, but as far as being fatiguing it isn't. Of course, when we make three trips a day it is rather hard on account of the high altitude. There isn't too much oxygen up there, but that only occurs once in a great while. Day before yesterday, I started out in the morning, leading a formation of four. When I got about 20 kilometers back, my gas pump failed and I had to drop out and come back. I got it to go again by priming and so when I was over [censored] I turned back alone to get some pictures not far behind the lines at [censored]. We had just reached it and Johnny Snyder, my observer, had snapped 5 plates when I saw 5 Boches coming up on our left. I told Johnny and snapped old '16' around in a left virage (sharp turn) toward home and opened the motor wide. Two of the Boches tried to cut me off but I headed a little east and they found they couldn't do it and at the same time came in range of Johnny's guns and he blazed away and they went back and joined the others behind me. I found that they were gradually gaining on me if I flew level so I nosed down a little and kept turning left and right or 's'ing constantly and outran them. They shot a lot and I could hear the bullets snap as they went by, but when I got back there wasn't a hole in the ship anywhere."

Jean is offline  
Old Feb 20th, 2009, 03:16 PM
  #74  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 4,494
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Jean, an amazing letter. Was your great uncle buried in the Meuse-Argonne Cemetery?
AnselmAdorne is offline  
Old Feb 20th, 2009, 03:56 PM
  #75  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 25,071
Received 4 Likes on 3 Posts
Yes, Anselm. His body was first recovered and buried by the Germans. After the war, his remains were moved to the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery near Romagne.

In 1930, the U.S. Government extended an invitation to my great-grandmother to visit the grave of her darling boy. I think this offer was made to one parent (usually the mother) of every U.S. soldier killed in action, all expenses were paid by the government, and she was issued a Special Pilgrimage Passport. (They certainly believed this was the war to end all wars.) I have her diary of the trip which I think was the biggest adventure of her life. My cousin and I plan to follow her route. OK, we'll probably fly to Europe rather than take a train across the U.S. and then a steamship to Caen, but we're going to try to duplicate it as much as possible.
Jean is offline  
Old May 6th, 2009, 11:59 AM
  #76  
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 57
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
This trip report was amazing. A great read...Great Uncle Harry's letters were incredible. Thanks so much for sharing.

Anselm,

So you have a link to the pictures? Would love to see them...Also, did you and your wife get a blog up and running?
thill25 is offline  
Old May 6th, 2009, 12:19 PM
  #77  
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 4,849
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thank you, thill25, for topping this exceptional trip report. I have printed out this, and the Anselm's previous "dead man's cheek" threads, as I consider them astoundingly well written, and engaging.

nukesafe is offline  
Old May 6th, 2009, 12:43 PM
  #78  
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 57
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
No problem...IMHO they deserve to be sticky (hence, me bookmarking both threads).
thill25 is offline  
Old Aug 13th, 2009, 02:19 PM
  #79  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 4,494
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
It has taken a while (and several lessons in Adobe Lightroom), but the Harry photos are finally finished.

It was foggy, as you'll see:

www.pbase.com/anselmadorne/france_2008

AA
AnselmAdorne is offline  
Old Aug 13th, 2009, 10:12 PM
  #80  
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 4,849
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
My God, Anslem, those are stunning pictures! Quite take my breath away. You were so fortunate that it was foggy, as that gives the exact somber mood for the memorials.

One of the most striking photos for me was the German cemetery. The irony of the Jewish headstones among the crosses ---
nukesafe is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Manage Preferences Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Your Privacy Choices -