Lest We Forget - Visiting L'Aisne

This year sees the buildup to the centenary of first world war, I for one will never forget and never let my children forget the sacrifices made by so many people. My great grandad for one, I will never forget  the loss our family suffered and how it changed the course of our history.

So whenever we are over in France we always go and visit something from WW1 or WW2 and this year was no different.

We stayed in L'Aisne area of France, an area that suffered massive losses and over 90% of the landscape was destroyed from the heavy fighting.

A beautiful landscape, these first images were from hillside above Cavern Du Dragon, unfortunately you couldn't take pictures inside, but the cave itself was unbelievably moving. Seeing the cave as it was left all those years ago, some of it which will never be explored because of the many remaining unexploded bombs.

The tour guide was a knowledgeable lady who explained about the caves and areas around the Chemin De Dames or Ladies Way.


 

These black crosses were in a german cemetery near where we stayed, I cannot explain the sadness I felt visiting this cemetery, so many young men giving their lives needlessly and sometimes without really knowing why. The dark crosses so different to the English and American bright white stone, it really was a moving place. Each cross represents two men, here lay about 11,000 men.


This English Cemetery was resting place to a brave 16 year old soldier who lied about his age and was killed in the vicious fighting in the area, I didn't manage to find his headstone but just looking at the rest was enough to make me stop and stifle back the tears.


And finally the French Cemetery, compared to the English and German Cemeteries this had been left in a sorry state, I am not sure why but I still love the flowers and the shear number of small crosses is a stark reminder of the loss.


Crumbling French Crosses
If you visit this area of France I can highly recommend visiting the Cavern Du Dragon and stopping at the cemeteries along the Chemin De Dames.

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