Jo’s-Monday-Walk-Wk33_Lochnagar-Crater-Pt-4

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Jo’s Monday Walk

Week-33

Lochnagar Crater

 Part 1: Lochnagar Crater

 Part 2 The Moles of Lochnagar

Part 3: The Women of The Great War

Part 4: Being Involved

Approaching Lochnagar Crater,

the first thing to catch you eye is

a giant cross which overlooks the Crater.

DC Photography

Originally donated and erected in 1986 it suffered from lightning strikes and storm damage and yielded to the elements in August 2010.  Over 20 feet in length the original Cross was made from wood from ‘…a deconsecrated Northumberland church…’, with 6 feet of it being below ground level.

A new Cross made of ‘…new green English oak…’ wand was erected in 2011.

 

Click here for more information about the Cross.

As visitors commenced their walk around the Crater it is hard…

not to notice these plaques along the boardwalk.

My initial thought was that they were dedicated

to soldiers who fought in and around…

Lochnagar and the Ovillers-la-Boisselle area of France.

However, I began to notice these plaques

and signs as well and another thought 

began to take shape in my mind.  

A few emails and the exchange of some

Aussie dollars for British Pounds…

 and this photo arrived in my email.

Now I must point out that my Grandfather

was one of a dozen soldiers required to fire that shot.

He did not give the order to fire and as far as I know

he did not pull he trigger (so to speak),

but he was part of the crew that fired

the first allied shot in anger

a less than 4 hours after War had been declared

in London.

Now I have an excuse to revisit France one day.

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More information can be found at the below links,

or by Googling First Shot World War I

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-08-05/thousands-commemorate-first-shot-of-wwi-in-portsea-victoria/5647724

http://blogs.slv.vic.gov.au/such-was-life/first-shot-fired/

Next week we move on!

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Jo’s Monday Walk

Jo’s-Monday-Walk-Wk32_Lochnagar-Crater-Pt-3

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Jo’s Monday Walk

Week-32

Lochnagar Crater

 Part 3…Women

Part 1: Lochnagar Crater

 Part 2 The Moles of Lochnagar

Part 3: The Women of The Great War

Part 4: Being Involved

This week is dedicated to all the women who

served during World War War I

Among the foxholes surrounding

Lochnagar Crater…

is perhaps the only

Western Front memorial

dedicated to…

the women who served in

the Great War.

The meorial was donated by

  Wenches in trenches

Click above or below for their website or

their Facebook Page

A simple…

 

but powerful memorial…

which describes the feelings of all who…

 

came in contact with the women…

 

of The Great War.

My Grandfather was one of those soldiers

who was thankful for skilled nursing staff

helping him back to good health

after being gassed on the Western Front.

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Jo’s Monday Walk

Travel Theme-Words

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My

Words

Travel Theme.

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Some words from the Somme.We soon became used to  seeing these words.

There were also words telling us where we were

and where to go!

And words to explain the site when we arrived.

These few days in France made me realise how lonely

it must be for migrants who do not speak

the language of their adopted home.

 

A few words…a big impact.

Words to match the images above?

And heartfelt words from the very young.

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Where’s My Backpack: Words

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Jo’s-Monday-Walk-Wk31_Lochnagar-Crater-Pt-2

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Jo’s Monday Walk

Week-31

Lochnagar Crater

 Part 2.

Part 1: Lochnagar Crater

Part 2 The Moles of Lochnagar

Part 3: The Women of The Great War

Part 4: Being Involved

 

Last week I mentioned memorials within

the Lochnagar Crater memorial

By now these poppy wreaths were

becoming all too common, however…

the sentiments behind each and every wreath was the same,

a heartfelt thank you and we will remember!

 

It would seem that ‘The Moles’ would refer to those

inside the 1,000 foot long tunnel.

In fact on-line research claims 18 Manchester sewer workers,

many over 40 years of age and with an average height

of about 5’4″ (average army requirement 5’8″) changed the War.

They were the founding members of the

170 (Tunnelling) Company, Royal Engineers.

Their work was the beginning of more than

3,000 miles of tunnels in

France, Belgium and Gallipoli.

While all hell raged above ground they tunnelled

silently below ground waging a secret warfare of their own.

Working in fetid air, cramped and wet conditions and with only

a candle to indicate if there was enough oxygen to breathe

they listened intently for signs, or sounds,

of the German army tunnelling towards them.

We were told that the German tunnellers were

only 5 feet away although I cannot verify that.

After the 27,000 tons of explosives were detonated

a 300 feet wide hole in the ground now known

 as Lochnagar Crater was all that was left behind.

Harry Fellows was a survivor of Lochnagar….

 

More can be read about Harry by clicking this link.

The final memorial is to Private George Nugent.  

When I took this image I either did not read, highly likely,

I took a close up of the plaque, or had forgotten his story.

 

On the far side of the Crater a tourist,

(Mr Drage of Colchester), while visiting Lochnagar,

actually discovered what appeared to be

a body emerging from the chalk about 10 metres

from the edge of the crater, in 1998.

Private Nugent’s remains were exhumed and

subsequently interred Ovillers Military Cemetery

on July 1st, 2000, exactly 84 years to the day

after he was reported as missing in action.

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Jo’s Monday Walk

Jo’s-Monday-Walk-Wk30_Lochnagar-Crater-Pt-1

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Jo’s Monday Walk

Week-30

Lochnagar Crater

 Part 1: Lochnagar Crater

Part 2 The Moles of Lochnagar

Part 3: The Women of The Great War

Part 4: Being Involved

The first sign that we were visiting something different…

to cemeteries, was this road side sign.

 

In the early 1970s Richard Dunning read about Lochnagar

and made it his mission to purchase the land in memory

of all who had been killed in and around the area.

 

 Lochnagar Crater, therefore, is a privately owned site dedicated

to members of the British Army who tunneled under enemy lines,

placing and detonating  27,000 tons of explosives

which created a rather large hole in the ground…

now known as Lochnagar Crater.

 

Lochnagar is lucky to be the hole in the ground that it is today.

When Richard Dunning purchased his hole in the ground,

the farmer who owned the land…

 

was seeking permission to fill it in as had been done

with its sister mine Y Sap two years earlier.

The best part about Lochnagar Crater is that the surrounding

area/battlefields are as they were over 100 years ago, and…

not only does Lochagar memorialize those who perished,

there are also several other memorials within the grounds.

And finally, there is a way in which I now have a link

to the Lochnagar Crater Memorial.

 I would love to return to view, in person,

my memorial to my Grandfather.

However, I may be well into my seventies

before this dream comes true.

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Jo’s Monday Walk

Pic-and-Word-Challenge_Wk92_Ghosts


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Week 92

Ghosts

I found this week’s theme a hard one to get my head around.

Then I remembered stories of how all

World War I Cemeteries and Monuments

were cared for during World War II…

and I wondered if the ghosts of

the Great War had a hand

in protecting these Sacred Grounds.

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Pic and Word Challenge: 92 Ghosts