World War I,
Our guide told us that the German Army
held the high ground…
…and that British Army held the lower ground.
At a British General’s command soldiers
were expected/ordered to walk up these slope
without any regard for their own life.
Allegedly after three or four attempts
to advance to higher ground, and
losing thousands of soldiers for nothing…
…the British hierarchy decided that
it would be okay for the men
to try and protect themselves…
…from being slaughtered by
the German Army’s enfilade fire.
…now so peaceful.
The gentle slope…
…of this Bullecourt field…
…so peaceful and calm…
…was the scene of so much death…
…during World War I.
World War I.
British forces were gathered at the bottom
of the hill with their target,
the German Army, at the top of the hill.
mainly because British Officers forbade
their men to take cover as they rose from their trenches.
Apparently there were four or five of these abortive
attempts to take the high ground before
the generals in charge gave the okay
for soldiers to protect themselves from
the German Army’s enfilade fire
all sport a verdant green undergrowth.
One of the shrubs in our garden.
On a more sombre note, on the far side of this field,
just before Pheasant Woods
was the site of mass grave in which
nearly 200 Australian soldiers were buried
after the Battle of Fromelles in July 1916.
It was indeed difficult to believe that
these Bullecourt fields were the sight of…
some bloody battles during World War I.
If my memory serves me well it is this field
where Australian/allied soldiers were ordered to advance
from the right, the lower ground,
to the German Army on the left, the higher ground.
They were ordered to walk ‘bolt up right’
into the might of the German military,
and not take any precautions for their own safety.
It was not until many waves of soldiers had been killed
that the British Officers said it would be okay for
soldiers to advance and try to protect their own lives as well.
It still brings tears to my eyes when I look at these scenes
and think about what happened there so long ago.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
As we approach ANZAC Day I thought of some
Toronto Avenue Cemetery.
Prowse Point Cemetery, Belgium
of the German Army, near Bullecourt.
also in the Bullecourt region.
Polygon Woods Cemetery.