Museums, interpretation centres and must-see sites
VISIT OUR REMEMBRANCE SITES AND TRAVEL AROUND THE WORLD IN 1 DAY ! EMOTION IS PALPABLE AND COMTEMPLATION SINCERE, FACED WITH THE SACRIFICE MADE FOR OUR FREEDOM.
In 1916, the department of the Somme became a global focal point, the meeting place for some twenty different nationalities who came together to fight or work for the three empires (France, Germany and Great Britain).
For the United Kingdom and its former empire: South Africa / Australia / Canada / Newfoundland / New Zealand / India / Burma / Pakistan / Barbados / Rhodesia / Republic of Ireland, as well as - independently - Russia / Belgium / Italy / United States / China and Egypt.
For France and its former empire: Burkina-Faso / Ivory Coast / Guinea / Mali / Niger / Senegal / Vietnam / Madagascar / Algeria / Tunisia and Morocco.
Visitors are captivated by the museums’ accounts of the conflict, and moved by the monuments that stand as permanent witnesses to this sometimes ill-known part of history. From a walk through the Newfoundland park at Beaumont Hamel, where the trenches are still visible at the foot of the great Caribou, and where you’ll be greeted by Canadian young people... To the famous Lochnagar Crater (100 m wide mine crater), one of the vestiges of the terrible 1st July 1916 battle, in which the British suffered their heaviest losses in their military history.
From the pillars of the great arch of the Thiepval Memorial, the largest war memorial in the Commonwealth, on which are engraved the names of 72,205 soldiers whose bodies were never found and who forever lie in the Somme earth… To the “little” red dragon in the village of Mametz: it’s quite difficult to find, but incredibly moving… Did you know that the members of the Welsh national rugby team never miss an opportunity to come here and reflect?
From the South African Memorial and Museum in Delville Wood, symbolic of national courage and the sacrifice made, when on 15th July 1916, the outnumbered South Africans, practically decimated and attacked on three sides, managed to hold part of the wood… To the “modest” Ulster Tower, replica of a tower on the Clandeboye Estate in Northern Ireland.
Last but not least, the 28,000 m² Rancourt necropolis and chapel of remembrance, final resting place of 8,566 French soldiers. This list is far from complete, and each place of remembrance deserves a visit.
“Whatever the visitor’s origin, religion or age... these places command admiration, instil respect and provide solace coupled with an indescribable feeling of eternity! It would be no surprise if you were moved to tears..."
As we said, a visit to the Somme is like a world tour, all thanks to our history!
The museums welcome you for a closer look
The internationally renowned Historial de Péronne combines German, French and British visions of the conflict.
Albert's Somme 1916 museum retraces daily life in the trenches through an underground section 250 metres long and 10 metres deep.
The Thiepval Interpretation Centre offers a unique experience thanks to the work of Joe Sacco with a work similar to a cartoon strip, 60 metres long and depicting the battle from 1 st July 1916.
The Sir John Monash Centre in Villers-Bretonneux is fully funded by Australia and offers multimedia content to illustrate the war on the Western Front from an Australian perspective. The immersive room is striking; it feels like you are in the heart of the battle and experiencing the hell of it.
The Museum of Villers-Bretonneux is Franco-Australian because the latter country greatly participated in the reconstruction of the town which suffered so much. The inscription “Do not Forget Australia” under the courtyard of the Victoria school demonstrates, if needed, the unfailing bonds of friendship between France and Australia.
The Single Command room in Doullens Town Hall and its stained glass window retraces the united command conferred on Marshal Foch by the British, French and American authorities on March 21, 1918! The Narrow Gauge Railway Museum is unique in France, with its collection of military railway equipment of the First World War, and many other sites worth your visit...
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