Laura Burns

Laura is in France on her year abroad from University of Stirling. She is linked with Doune Primary School in Stirling.

Northern France and the World Wars

To primary 7s,

I understand that your project this year surrounds conflicts throughout history. Now that I am living in the north of France, it is clear that the effects from the First and Second world war still have a strong impact today.

 

During a training day with some of the other English language assistants, we visited the site of "Vimy ridge".  Pictured here is a large monument to commemorate the lives of the Canadian soldiers who died in this famously brutal battle in 1917. 

The Vimy is located close to the city of Arras. My town is around a half an hour train journey away from there. It was particularly powerful to be in the trenches of the Vimy battle because my own great grandfather fought in the battle of the Somme in World War One. Do you know if any of your relatives fought in northern France during world war one? If so, where?

 

Later we visited the French National War Cemetery at Notre-Dame-de-Lorette. Next to this there was style of monument which is, sadly, very common across northern France and Belgium. The monument lists the names of each soldier whose body was never found. I do not think the photographs even begin to show its true scale. There is another famous monument similar to this in a town called Ypres, Belgium.

 

 

As I said, the impact of the wars continue to resonate today. Here is just one of the monuments near my house to remember the soldiers and civilians from Bethune. Can you translate the message?

Please let me know if there is anything you discover in your own research, or if there is anything you would like me to look into further!

Thank you,

Laura

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