An early start for us all today, breakfast and a cuppa then in the van and out to Sheffield Memorial Park for the start of day one of our sponsored walk. Gathering around the Chorley Pals memorial we laid a poppy cross for them and wench Sue Mc said a few words. We had a walk around the park, which was once the trenches on one side of no mans land. An eerie feeling to know that we were standing where nearly 100 years ago thousands of men lost their lives, some never even making it out of these trenches. After a look around the Railway Hollow Cemetery at the bottom of the park we walked the short distance across the field, that was a century ago no mans land, to the Queens Cemetery. Here we laid another poppy cross to family members of a follower of wenches that are buried there.
Next we made our way along the track back towards the Serre Road. Once on the road we visited the Serre Road No1 Cemetery, across the road a beautiful little French Chapel. We then made our way along the track that leads to Beaumont Hamel. Passing the Redan Ridge Cemeteries. Going through Beaumont Hamel we carried on up to Munich Trench British Cemetery. This had been a German trench that had been captured by the 7th division on the 7th January 1917.
We then headed back down to Beaumont Hamel and on towards the Sunken Road. Here we were met by head wench Sue R and our driver. After a walk up to Hawthorn Crater, which is just over the road, and a visit to the Beaumont Hamel Cemetery we set off to La Boiselle for lunch.
Lunch was provided by Alison at Old Blighty Tea Rooms. Alison is good friend to us at Wenches and a very loyal supporter of the Friends of Lochnagar Crater. We are very grateful for her support (and delicious food) Thank you Alison.
After a rest, some food and a lovely cuppa we made our way to the Ancre Cemetery for the second half of todays walk. The Ancre Cemetery is a beautiful place and so we spent a bit more time here. Laying some poppy crosses on a few chosen headstones.
We then started our long walk to Newfoundland Park. This is a large Canadian memorial park. Much of the ground at the park has been untouched since the war. The scars on the ground clearly visible. Here we walked through the trenches and saw 3 separate cemeteries. Y Ravine, Hunters and Hawthorn Ridge No2. There is also the memorial to the 51st Highland Division and an impressive Newfoundland Caribou memorial to the missing.
This was the end of todays walk. We are all very tired but exhilarated from what we have seen. We are very humbled and glad that we have had the opportunity to take part in this walk. Now we need a good hot shower, some food and a well deserved drink! We will of course get plenty of rest for our walk tomorrow.
We start tomorrow 9am at Delville Woods. We will be calling at Fricourt, Lochnagar Crater and Theipval throughout the day. So if you are passing any of these please keep an eye out for our red Tshirts, come say Hi…and drop some coins in our collection tin!