As part of our French trip, Sarah and I, together with some of our extended family went on a three day tour of the Somme battlefields. Our tour included attending the ANZAC service at the Australian National Memorial at Villers Bretonneux . We went to honour my grandfather who volunteered to serve in the AIF in WWI and WW2, including duty in Gallipoli, France and Belgium as part of the 28th Battalion.
|Historial de la Grande Guerre, Peronne|
As part of the tour we visited the Historial de la Grande Guerre in Peronne. The displays showed what life was like for soldiers in the front line trenches, and included artifacts from French, Allied, and German soldiers. Many of the items were in attractive floor displays. (I accidentally sent off an alarm when I got too close to take a photo – oops!)
I was drawn to the hand made items in the soldiers kit – probably made by mothers, wives, and sisters of the soldiers. You could see the care that went into making all the practical items.
A pouch to hold spare buttons for the uniform.
A cutlery roll, including a can opener and a mirror.
Knitted balaclava, neck warmer and scarves.
It is hard to image what life was like for the soldiers who served during this period. It is important that so much of this history has been preserved.
Lest we forget.