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Tommy Tour 3

The following information and tours have been reproduced in order to share and preserve the memory of PVT George Tougher of  the 2nd Battalion Sherwood foresters

  • Arras
  • Canadian Memorial
  • Grange Tunnels
  • Cabaret Rouge
  • French Memorial
  • La Targette Hand
  • German Cemetery

Tommy Tour 3

Start your day in Arras, may be you took my advice and stayed at the Ibis Hotel just of the place des héros, if not you can park in the Place des Héros just out side the Hotel de Ville – tourist office. This is where the day starts, in the underground tunnels of Arras, a city beneath a city. The tunnels were begun in the twelfth century and used as a both means of communication and a place of refuge.
 
Thousands of British Soldiers sheltered down here during the war, take the guided tour for a small charge.
 
After Arras, take the drive to Vimmy, and the Canadian Memorial, park your car and take a walk around the visitor centre, book a tour of the tunnels then take the walk to the memorial whilst you wait. This memorial commemorates the 60,000 Canadians that lost there lives during the first world war, walk all the way round to get the full benefit of this splendid memorial.
A tour down the tunnels will last approx. 30 mins, damp, dark and claustrophobic, they lead out to trenches still preserved and craters.
 
It is amazing to see how close the Allied trenches are to the German lines, shell holes all around and signs that say keep off the grass all add to the scene (there are still unexploded mines around!)
 
Leaving the memorial park next head for the D947 towards Souchez, you will come to the CWGC Cemetery Caberet Rouge. 7,000 burials are here along with memorials.
Funded by the Association of Notre Dame de Lorette, the French memorial is visible in every way, a lighthouse some 200 ft high over looks the battlefields and the burial places of some 35,000 soldiers.
 
Paying a small entrance fee, it is possible to enter the tower and visit a small museum, this will give the details of the battles that took place around Vimmy. Look around the grounds, the orientation table points to places there (or no longer) and you can walk to the other side of the cemetery to the cafe and another museum, very  good in re creating the life of a soldier in the trenches.
 
Head for the village of La Targette where the village memorial is of a hand holding a flame, note the id tag on the wrist which bears the name of the village.
 
The final destination of the day is a German Cemetery at Neuville St Vaast. First take a look at the map carved in stone at the entrance, this gives the locations of cemeteries in this area.
 
This cemetery is the resting place of some 45,000 German soldiers, situated in the location previously known as the Labyrinth – an underground fortress, made of concrete and a maze of trenches that led to machine gun post’s, these post covered by steel and concrete made the positions almost impenetrable by shell fire.
 
Note that all German graves are marked by the black cross, where as the Allies are marked by the white head stone or cross.

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