Discover the hiking and cycling routes of the Remembrance Trails

These regions are home to the many sites that bear the scars of two world wars. The sites commemorate the selfless sacrifice of those who took part and now, thanks to the regional Remembrance Trails, you can discover them at your leisure along local cycling and hiking routes. Each route develops a specific theme and is accompanied by an illustrated guide. Consult the guide on your mobile (or download it) to discover the human side of these conflicts and learn about the region and its history in an original and compelling way.
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Duration: 2h30 env. - Distance: 10,6km

Practical info

Contact: Office du tourisme deu pays de Weppes
Call: +33(0)3 20 50 63 85
Email: paysdeweppes(at)gmail(dot)com
Satrting point: Fromelles Church - Rue de l'Église - 59789 FROMELLES

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The Battle of Fromelles

The Battle of Fromelles (19–20 July 1916) was a brief but bloody episode of the Great War fought on the Western Front. Its purpose was to take pressure off the French and the British forces in the Battle of the Somme, a major offensive started on 1 July some 50 miles to the south. The fighting at Fromelles lasted twenty-four hours and resulted in a significant reverse for the British and the Australians, the latter seeing action on French soil for the first time. The Great War was an industrial one founded on heavy artillery and machine-guns and the figures from Fromelles show just how brutal it had become: the Australians suffered 5,500 casualties (2,000 killed or missing and 3,500 wounded or taken prisoner), the British had 1,500 soldiers put out of action, and the German toll was 1,600 dead or wounded.

After the destruction wrought by the First World War, Fromelles lay in ruins. But the village was rebuilt and farmers returned to their ravaged fields. Today, all that remains of that terrible battlefield are the cemeteries of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and a few German blockhouses. In 2007 five mass graves were discovered. These had been dug by the Germans two days after the battle. Careful excavation revealed the bodies of 250 men, most of them Australians, and many were precisely identified through DNA testing. Their remains have since been reburied in a new cemetery at the heart of the village. Nearby, a new museum reveals the effect of the tragic battle of Fromelles on the emerging Australian nation.

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