Paying tribute to our fallen soldiers

Embarking on battlefield tours of France, the visual impact of WW1 and WW2 war graves never ceases to induce a tear.


With never-ending waves of headstones, it’s a sobering effect like no other, and with achingly moving epitaphs too, visiting a cemetery on the remembrance trail is something we must all do in our lifetime.

It’s not just hard-hitting cemeteries you’ll encounter in Northern France. Driving around its landscapes – be that Amiens’ WW1 sites, Arras’ WW1 sites or beyond – you’ll encounter the full plethora of remembrance visits, including skyscraping memorials such as Thiepval, crater-pocked battlefields and of course… flagship WW1 museums expertly recounting everything from the outset of war, staggering losses on the Somme battlefields and pivotal points like the Battle of Cambrai. One thing’s for sure - we’re not going to forget those boys in a hurry. 
Now in Northern France, there’s an even more poignant way of looking at remembrance. Whereas early memorials separated men from each side – a sorry tale of Them and Us – there are now some remarkably uplifting memorials – like the Ring of Remembrance at Notre Dame de Lorette which inclusively and alphabetically lists the fallen regardless of nationality, rank or religion - a powerful humanitarian message for sure.
And how can we each do our bit? Well, the single most powerful thing we can do is to take the next generation by the hand to show them the meaningful and memorable sights for themselves. After all, looking at yesterday gives context to today and helps us shape their brighter tomorrow.
Battlefield tours of France start right here.   

Discover some French Battlefields breaks ideas.