After an early breakfast we walked to the Grand Square to catch the tour bus...
the only thing that caught my eye from the bus trip was what I thought was a work of art:
...turns out its over the entrance to E.Leclerc, a Hypermarket or Big Box Retailer to us...still, I thought it cool...
La Carriere Wellington, Memorial de la Bataille d'Arras 4/9/1917
The Wellington Tunnels were created from a chalk quarry which was dug in the Middle Ages because chalk was a big building material back in the day. The development of the quarry (named the Wellington Quarry by the New Zealand tunnellers) allowed the accommodation of over 24,000 soldiers for the Spring 1917 offensive.
The New Zealand Tunnelers memorial is on the left wall of the entrance to the tunnels
|There were hundreds of photographs of the New Zealand tunnelers - amazing research collection!|
The tour includes a guide, an audio tour that syncs with the videos and photos in the tunnels, and maps...
|photos were of ruins above ground in Arras|
|The memorial is located at Wellington, but you can see the|
extent of the tunnels under Arras - Place des Heroes is just on the left
in the middle...
|as you can see by the map, Ypres is just 1 hour North|
I think the red line is the front at the time of the tunnels
|also photos of the men in the tunnels|
|an example of the bunk structures|
|the type of cubby dug for the bunks|
It is very difficult now to imagine how horrible it was - outside was all mud, ruins, trenches and dead guys and inside was all mud and thousands of men (ugh...the smell...)...
I was happy to get back in the sun outside and get back on a nice, clean bus!
Next up - more WWI...