For the last few years Wenches In Trenches founder Sue has made the journey to the Somme during November for the Armistice. Last year one of the Wenches team, Suzanna, joined her for her first Armistice on the Somme. Suzanna really enjoyed the atmosphere of the visit and so when it came time to go this year she once again joined Sue on the journey. Of course this visit would be made extra special by the unveiling of the Wenches In Trenches granite memorial to the women of the war at Lochnagar Crater.
The pair arrived in France and travelled to Albert where they were staying. The beautiful Hotel De La Paix would be their base for the visit. They soon discovered though that the downside to staying in this lovely old French hotel was that there was no lift! (their room was on the top floor)
The evening before 11th November Sue and Suzanna attended the ‘Sing For Your Supper’ event organised by the Somme branch of the Royal British Legion. A fantastic evening of good food and lots of singing. Music was provided by the Hampshire Constabulary Band. It was a brilliant night.
On the morning of the 11th the ladies decided to take a quieter approach to the morning. Forgoing the usual hustle and bustle of taking part in the village proceedings at La Boiselle, Sue and Suzanna made their way to Poiziers cemetery. With no one else in sight the two paid their respects at the cemetery. Afterwards they made their way to Quarry cemetery in Montauban to lay a poppy cross for a distant relative of Suzanna’s. When leaving the cemetery they were held up by the villagers of Montaubant who were having their ceremony at the Liverpool Pals memorial in the village. A young villager ended the ceremony by playing the British national anthem on a trumpet, it was a very surreal experience.
In the afternoon Sue and Suzanna made their way to Lochnagar Crater for the unveiling of the Wenches In Trenches granite memorial to the Women of the war. The memorial is the realisation of a dream for Wenches founder Sue, inspired by her granny Isabella, without whom Wenches would not be here. It was an emotional moment for both Sue and Suzanna as the plastic covering was lifted by Richard Dunning, the owner of Lochnagar Crater. Inscribed with the words ‘Dedicated to the valiant women of all nations who served in The Great War’ the memorial sits opposite the memorial bench that was placed at the crater last year. It looks magnificent and we are very proud to have been able to have funded this amazing tribute to the women of the war.
Wenches In Trenches would like to thank everyone that has contributed in the process of making these memorials happen. We would like to thank everyone that has donated or sponsored one of our events, Richard Dunning and all the team at Lochnagar Crater, Vinny Felstead your craftsmanship is amazing, all of the team at Wenches In Trenches, the ladies who have walked in any of our events and all of the supporters we have worked with along the way. Thank you!
On the way back to Calais Sue and Suzanna stopped off at Wimereux cemetery to pay their respects to all the women laid to rest there. A wreath was laid on the cross of sacrifice from all at Wenches In Trenches and poppy crosses laid on all the graves of the women that are laid there.
Keep an eye on the website for details of our next project.