The Allies' logistics base on the Channel coast
The war of movement and the first German occupation
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The Remembrance Trails of the Great War guide you through the remembrance sites of Northern France and provide an insight into a major event of European history that affected the entire world.
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7 september 1914
General Fournier, commander of the fortified town of Maubeuge, surrenders to the German Army after a siege of more than 13 days.
21 october 1914
After 50 minutes of intense shelling Arras bell tower collapses.
25 december 1914
British and German soldiers observe a truce on several parts of the Front (Frelinghien, Houplines, Fromelles, Neuve-Chapelle, Richebourg) to celebrate Christmas and some even leave the trenches to exchange gifts.
9 may 1915
On the first day of the French offensive against the German positions in the Artois Hills the Moroccan Division succeeds in taking hill 140 of Vimy Ridge but, for want of reinforcements, is forced to retreat.
22 september 1915
Lille resistance leaders Eugène Jacquet, Georges Maertens, Ernest Deceuninck and Sylvère Verhulst are executed in front of the Citadel.
25 september 1915
British troops open the Battle of Loos with a gas attack, the first time they use the weapon.
27 september 1915
John Kipling, son of famous writer Rudyard Kipling, is reported missing during the Battle of Loos.
20 october 1915
British Intelligence spy Alice Dubois, alias Louise de Bettignies, is arrested in Tournai one month after the arrest of her accomplice Léonie Vanhoutte.
5 november 1915
Arrested on the Dutch-Belgian border, Léon Trulin is sentenced to death for spying and executed three days later in front of Lille Citadel.
25 december 1915
New theatre opens in Lille (now known as L'Opéra) in the presence of Crown Prince Rupert of Bavaria.
11 january 1916
Attack or accident? The German munitions depot situated in the ramparts of Lille explodes, causing enormous damage in the working-class district of Saint-Sauveur.
23 april 1916
Lille town hall on place Rihour (since rebuilt in another part of the city) burns to the ground although the cause of the fire is unclear. Fortunately the last remaining room (Salle du Conclave) of the 17th century palace survives.
16 november 1916
Convinced that an attack on Chemin des Danes would allow him to break through German lines, General Nivelle persuades Marshal Haig of the British Army to launch a diversionary attack at Arras.
2 february 1917
The first troops of the Portuguese Expeditionary Force arrive in France and are placed under British command.
25 march 1917
French politicians Albert Taillandier and Raoul Briquet die in the explosion of Bapaume town hall which was booby-trapped by the Germans as they retreated to the Hindenburg Line.
9 april 1917
British soldiers use old quarry tunnels to launch a surprise attack on the German lines before Arras.
While the British open the Battle of Arras, the Canadians launch an attack on the German positions on Vimy Ridge.
3 may 1917
Despite the failure of an initial offensive on 10 April, the Australians launch a second attack on the Hindenburg Line at Bullecourt.
7 may 1917
Pursued by the squadron of Lothar von Richthofen, British flying ace Albert Ball crashes at Annoeullin.
21 may 1917
The Imperial War Graves Commission is established by Royal Charter and is given the task of ensuring that every soldier killed in action is given a decent burial.
9 september 1917
The arrest of a New Zealand soldier by military police triggers a mutiny in the British army camp at Etaples.
20 november 1917
In an attempt to break through the Hindenburg Line at Cambrai, the British Army deploys 476 tanks to clear a path for its infantry.
9 april 1918
In the process of being relieved, the Portuguese soldiers in Flanders suffer a surprise attack by the Germans as they open the Battle of the Lys.
15 april 1918
Brought to a halt in their advance along the Lys River, the Germans head towards Flanders and take Bailleul.
28 april 1918
The Dover Patrol carries out a raid on the Port of Zeebrugge and the entrance to Bruges Canal in an attempt to blockade the German ship and submarines stationed there.
8 october 1918
The Canadians liberate a Cambrai in ashes, the Germans having set light to the town centre before their retreat.
4 november 1918
Lieutenant Wilfred Owen, considered to be one of the 20th century's greatest war poets, is killed as his company tries to cross La Sambre Canal.
New Zealand troops liberate the town of Quesnoy by climbing the rampart walls.
5 april 1919
Marshal Haig thanks in person the people of Montreuil before leaving France for the final time.
26 july 1936
King Edward VIII unveils the Canadian National Vimy Memorial to a crowd of 100,000 people.
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