Jo’s-Monday-Walk-Wk40_Le-Hamel_Australian-Memorial-2

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Jo’s Monday Walk

Week-40

Australian Memorial-2

Le Hamel, France

Last week we commenced a walk around…. 

the Australian Corps Memorial

at Le Hamel in France.

Along the walk to the Memorial is information…

relating to the battle and the tactics used by

General Monash to overcome German forces.

 

I was still not used to seeing people tending

these sites keeping them neat and tidy.

A surprise…but a very pleasant one…knowing that

our war Memorials in Europe are in

pristine condition all the time and not just

for a professional film crew, or photographer,

who happens to  be in the vicinity.

 

However, we eventually made it…

and noted that it sat silently overlooking

the village of Le Hamel.

 

This may be a politician speaking however,

it was tributes like this one,

to Australian soldiers,

which I found quite moving.

 

Had I not known we were in France,

this shot could have been taken

on a spring day in Australia,

or for that matter any rural area

throughout the world.

It is difficult to imagine the bloodshed

on these battlegrounds.

 

A short walk down this path and we came upon…

some of the trenches used during that battle.

 

None of them appeared to give as much cover

as I would like if someone had a rifle

or field artillery aimed at them.

 

Back for a final quick photo…yes, I was there…

 

 and then back to our vehicle and shade…

 

and off we drove through a sea of blood-red poppies

which grow wild in the region constantly

reminding all of the blood that was shed

on these fields/paddocks.

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Jo’s Monday Walk

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Jo’s-Monday-Walk-Wk39_Le-Hamel_Australian-Memorial

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Jo’s Monday Walk

Week-39

Australian Memorial-1

Le Hamel, France

 Back in the Somme Battlefields this week.

There is a Sunday radio program which is

giving this area quite a bit of publicity as

100 year commemorations pass by.

Hence my return to The Western Front I am not exactly sure which way we turned here, however,

I suspect it was left as we had already visited

Villers Bretonneux.

On we drove until we came upon…

 

the small village of…

Le Hamel.

A right turn here had us heading through…

 

more peaceful farm land, until we  arrived…

 

at Le Hamel’s

Australia Corps Memorial Park.

 

Officially rededicated in 2008,

the parking area is…

 

several hundred metres from the memorial.

However, it is a slow walk as there is

plenty of information to be gleaned along the way.

 

I have included this photo for three reasons. 

First, I was based in Arras for the duration of my visit. 

Second, I had no idea these towns were all so close.

Third, my Grandfather was always associaated with:

Villers-Bretonneux, Amiens, Pozieres, Bullecourt,

Paschendale and Menin Road

 

General Sir John Monash was spoken of

with a great deal of reverence by our guide. 

Our guide claimed it was his tactics which

won the First Wold War.

 

During my lifetime I have often heard

how soldiers of both sides could hear 

conversations in the opposition trenches. 

This image shows the

Australian/British trench in blue while

the German trenches are in red. 

Note how close they near the words Villers-Bretonneux.

 

Now, note the scale of this map.

The trenches would have been

barely 150 meres apart at their closest points.

Still we were to visit trenches

which were much closer.

And all among what is now peaceful farming land. 

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Jo’s Monday Walk

Jo’s-Monday-Walk-Wk38_Balyang-Sanctuary-2

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Jo’s Monday Walk

Week-38

Balyang Sanctuary 2

Some more from Balyang Sanctuary.

The ever-present Swallow…although seldom still.

 

Also ever-present…

and lining the boardwalk for a morsel..

the Seagull.

 

Preening…

and resting…

on a winter’s day.

I marvel at the Pelican’s ability to land

on these nesting boxes, without falling.

 

Overseeing all…

 

and giving directions is

the Sulphur Crested Cockatoo.

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Jo’s Monday Walk

Jo’s-Monday-Walk-Wk38_Balyang-Sanctuary

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Jo’s Monday Walk

Week-38

Balyang Sanctuary

 I have often posted random images taken at

Balyang Sanctuary in Geelong.

This week I thought of revisiting…

 

some of the images I have taken at Balyang.

It is home to many species of birds

such as this Mudlark.

There are also plenty of wild ducks…

to photograph.

Once I thought that I had

photographed some ducklings…

Then the wind pushed them in the opposite direction.

I felt a bit silly.

 

The most difficult to photograph are the

Lorikeets which call Balyang home.

Usually high up in the trees and moving

before one can focus the camera.

However at breeding time they slow down a bit…

 

and literally hang around their nests…

 

or sit outside for some peace and quiet…

and groom themselves.

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Finally, there are also Australian White Ibises

which frequent the sanctuary in small numbers,

but make great subjects, in my opinion.

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Jo’s Monday Walk

Jo’s-Monday-Walk-Wk37_Surf-Coast

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Jo’s Monday Walk

Week-37

Surf Coast

 Every week or two I hop in the car

and head off somewhere to capture images

for my blog and Facebook.

This particular morning I was on my way home

via Barwon Heads..where the Barwon River

empties into Bass Strait.

This side is Barwon Heads

cross the bridge and

one is in Ocean Grove.

 

I may have darkened this image a tad, however,

you still get the idea of the sun reflecting

on little jewels in the water.

 

Also coastlines are fabulous for

gnarled twisted trees like this one.

 

Like many of our natives trees they manage to

sprout new life from anywhere along the trunk.

 

Moving on to see if there were any surfers

at Torquay’s Beaches.

They didn’t let me down.

 

Waves may not have been huge but I think this

would give anyone an adrenaline rush.

Endeavouring to out run Mother Nature…

 

but succumbing or being over taken.


Still not a bad place to enjoy some morning exercise.

And that’s my Monday morning drive for this week.

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Jo’s-Monday-Walk-Wk36_Thiepval-2

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Jo’s Monday Walk

Week-36

Thiepval Memorial-1

Authuille, France

 Last week I left the Thiepval Memorial…

with this shot.

 

 a view of the Anglo-French Cemetery at the Memorial.

300 French soldiers’ graves…

and 300 British Army graves.

In that era the term ‘British Army’ covered

all member nations of the British Commonwealth.

Most of the bodies interred at Thiepval

have been reburied here

after discovery on Somme Battlefields

between December 1931 and March 1932

South Africa, as a British Empire member nation

was mentioned in several sources during

my research into this post.

High up on the walls of the memorial

these wreaths may be found.

This one refers to the Battle of Ginchy

which occurred on September 9, 1916.

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 Maybe this doorway lead to a stairway

to the top of the Memorial.

 

As mentioned last week,

the Thiepval Memorial

was the first of its kind we visited.

Prior to this we had visited cemeteries

with ornate, at times, entrances,

but nothing to compare with Thiepval.

I was still coming to terms with this type

of memorial left by relatives or visitors.

From a distance I thought they were something

someone had dropped, however upon closer

inspection each and everyone contained

the name of a soldier…

 

and a brief message from a visiting relative…

community member or organisation.

The Thiepval Memorial stands on one of the strongest

parts of the German front line, which was attacked

by 32nd Division on 1 July 1916 and held by 99th Reserve Infantry Regiment.

Thiepval was eventually taken by 18th Division

on 26 September 1916 in a well-planned operation

commanded by Major General Ivor Maxse.

The Thiepval Memorial is approximately 150 feet high

and was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens and is the

largest of the Memorials built by the

Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

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Jo’s Monday Walk

Jo’s-Monday-Walk-Wk35_Thiepval-1

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Jo’s Monday Walk

Week-35

Thiepval Memorial-1

Authuille, France

 The Thiepval Memorial is dedicated to the

Missing of the Somme Battles.

It is an Anglo-French Memorial

dedicated to a total between 72,000 and 73,000

missing servicemen.

 

The number varies as some remains are identified.

The Thiepval Memorial is an Anglo-French battle memorial

to commemorate the joint 1916 offensive.

The British flag flies on the north side of the monument

while the French flag flies on the south side.

Although I confess that the flags could be

on the opposite sides to those stated.

I have read which sides the flags fly.

Naturally cannot find my source today.

In Australia the south side of anything is nearly always shaded,

logic tells me this should be reversed for the northern hemisphere.

This was our first encounter with tributes…

 such as these.

Whether students of  history…

or the mouths of babes,

the sentiments are the same.

 

Some of the 72,000 plus names listed on the  memorial.

I think I was in awe of this memorial and I/we

did not venture into the cemetery.

However, on the left are 300 French Graves,

 with all but 47 of them containing unknown solders.

While on the right are 300 British Empire graves.

Only 61 of these graves are named.

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Jo’s Monday Walk