northern France advice

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Feb 21st, 2018, 02:58 PM
  #41
 
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Do you have to arrive for Eurostar trains at least 30 minutes before departure to allow for time to go thru security like in London or Paris or is this not a requirement in Lille. Still should make it and folks arriving less tha required time prior usually do get let in I understand.
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Feb 22nd, 2018, 07:32 AM
  #42
 
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Oh yeah-I forgot it was Eurostar, so maybe you will need to plan to be there earlier. Hertz should be able to let you know how to return a car after hours when you pick it up-hopefully they have a way to do that.
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Feb 22nd, 2018, 08:06 AM
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Or just go to Lille and stay night before - nice city to spend some time in and return car day before?
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Feb 24th, 2018, 06:46 AM
  #44
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Just checked with the Hertz office at Gare de Lille Europe and they have a key drop off box so that should solve the time problem for catching the train.
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Feb 24th, 2018, 07:35 AM
  #45
 
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take videos of the car inside and out when returning. Make sure gas is full.
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Feb 24th, 2018, 10:49 AM
  #46
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Yes good idea. I plan to be there at 11 when it opens. The key drop off will be my last resort if time is getting short.
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Feb 24th, 2018, 11:30 AM
  #47
 
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Jim, just catching up on this. Yes, I think your plan to be there by 11 should work. The pre-boarding security screening point is very near the Hertz office. We didn't board the EuroStar, as we were taking the Thalys to Amsterdam, but if the screening is the same, it goes pretty quickly. We had a few people ahead of us in the line and we were through is less than 10 minutes.
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Feb 24th, 2018, 12:46 PM
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Might there not be passport control by Schengen group and British Customs officers for Eurostar access that would not apply to Thalys?
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Mar 1st, 2018, 02:00 PM
  #49
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Our itinerary so far is to pick up a rental car in Lille and drive to Ypres for 3 days. Following Ypres we would spend probably 3 days in Arras area. Both of these areas would be centered around WWI sites. We would like to do something different for a few days between Ypres and Arras... maybe drive to the coast for example. Hoping someone might have some suggestions of a town within driving distance of Ypres/Arras to spend a couple of days.
Alternatively we could just extend our stay in either Ypres, Arras or Lille.
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Mar 1st, 2018, 02:39 PM
  #50
 
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We love the Côte d’Opale and there are many places you could stay although I suggest you avoid the area around Calais and Dunkirk. If you want a large town Boulogne-sur-Mer or Le Touquet are enjoyable but there are lots of lovely small villages/resorts along the coast. We like to visit Hardelot Plage but have never stayed there. Our preference is to stay near one of the bigger towns in a B and B so we can drive in to enjoy the fantastic food choice but have easy access to the rest of the coast. Traffic can be heavy in Boulogne and Le Tourquet.
The countryside between the coast and Arras is known as the Seven Valleys and is beautiful in an understated way. It is certainly worth a detour.
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Mar 2nd, 2018, 03:07 AM
  #51
 
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I liked Amiens a lot - great cathedral.
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Mar 2nd, 2018, 06:04 AM
  #52
 
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Originally Posted by Jim143 View Post
OHHHH!! I'm overcome with excitement! Yes, that must be it. Have a look at this note from the war diary:

"Keiberg 25/10/18 0115 D.Co. billet was hit by a shell and set on fire causing 7 casualties"

I know he was in "D" company so that must be the incident. According to what I was told, grandfather was in between two soldiers that were killed. Can't wait to tell my dad and family. Thank you so much for this information and thank you everybody for all the help on this forum.
If possible I am going to try and find out who those 7 were, if any died and if so where buried. Visiting those would be a focal point of our trip.
We did a "follow the soldier" tour in 2016 for a friend whose father was a WWII 2nd Btn Ranger at Pointe du Hoc and it was absolutely moving. As a closet history buff, I had to do a bit of research when I saw the specifics of your posts. I hope this pans out as informational for your Grandfather's experience.
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Mar 2nd, 2018, 06:35 AM
  #53
 
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I have so enjoyed reading this thread which I came across almost by chance. Jim, I've nothing to add to all the great information you've had and just wanted to wish you well on your quest. My grandma's little brother was killed somewhere on the Western Front but I knew nothing about it until she developed dementia and started to call my grandad by her dead brother's name. It never occurred to me at the time to ask any questions and now it's probably too late to trace him. I did have a quick look at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website but nothing leapt out at me. I will have to do a bit more research.

Thanks again for starting this fascinating and poignant thread.
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Mar 3rd, 2018, 06:44 AM
  #54
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annhig Try this site https://www.cwgc.org/find/find-war-dead/
I have found that there is so much information available on line. I think I have found the cemetery where those from the Newfoundland regiment killed at Keiberg ridge are buried. Dadizelle. Its just a few kilometers south east of Keiberg. I've also identified at least 2 of those buried there from D company. I understand also that there are detailed maps of each phase of the campaign which show troop movements and even locations of trenches. I'm trying to get one of those for the dates in question.

The seven valleys area looks like a great diversion from the war sites. Our plan now is to drive from Lille to Ypres. Spend 3 days there then drive to the area west of Arras around Hesdin and probably explore some of the coastal areas for 2 days. Thanks Spiral for that suggestion. Then drive east to the Arras area and visit Beaumont Hamel from there. Driving back to Lille from the Arras area, dropping off the rental car and catching the train seems too stressful for a Sunday morning. I'm thinking of cancelling one day on the car and returning to Lille on Saturday.
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Mar 3rd, 2018, 12:12 PM
  #55
 
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thanks Jim - I'll have a look.

And I like the way your itinerary is coming along.
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Mar 3rd, 2018, 03:29 PM
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annhig, do research. It was so interesting and my freind that was with us was kicking herself as her Grandfather was RAF during that war. She has his medals but no records so now she wants to know everything. Some of the museums have computers to look up info right there. We had a school trip on one of our stops. they had come from England. Smart kids in their wellies. It was muddy and then would freeze at night. I know very little about my Great Uncle. He was gassed and shell shocked the rest of his life. There was an interesting exhibit in Verdun about this and why. We really want to go back and explore Ypres. Beaumont Hamel is not to be missed. On the lighter side I kept picturing the Tour de France and those roads they ride. I have always loved the country and got to see some of it covered in fresh snow.
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Mar 4th, 2018, 09:30 AM
  #57
 
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Macross - visiting the battle fields has never interested me that much; I have visited a few because we were passing, and I went with my parents to the Menin Gate when I was a teenager which resonated with me later when we studied WWI at school. But I do feel that I would like to know more about my gran's little brother. I will keep looking.
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Mar 4th, 2018, 11:56 AM
  #58
 
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Verdun may be out of area you are concentrating on but to me the battlefield of all battlefieds was grippingly interesting --especially the museum and old trenches where so so many got killed by gas attacks or got infected by disease and later died - about half of all deaths I think.
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Mar 4th, 2018, 02:38 PM
  #59
 
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My great uncle was also killed in the Battle of Vimy Ridge. His brother-my grandfather was able to visit him in hospital before he passed. They were both Canadians. My great uncle is burried in Boulogne Eastern.
My husband & I are planning a trip in June to that area and I want topay respects to my great uncle. They were both from Alberta
We are spending about 2 weeks in Belgium & Northern France
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Mar 5th, 2018, 07:02 AM
  #60
 
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Vimy Ridge for Canadians is so so huge - no so much for Americans. Watch CBC Canada a lot and that anniversary last year was covered so so much - seems a focus of Canadian patriotism and heroism.
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