At the end of the First World War the bodies of some French casualties were returned to their families but most were buried or (in the case of the missing and unnamed) their bones committed to ossuaries in the area of the battlefield. We first visited some of these sites in 2012.
The French cemetery at Neuville-Saint-Vaast (near Vimy Ridge) contains nearly twelve thousand graves.
To the north-west of Arras at Ablain-St-Nazare is located France’s largest Military Cemetery, Notre Dame de Lorette. With an ossuary as well as an extensive graveyard this cemetery (Figure 10) contains the remains of approximately 43,000 casualties of the First World War battles in the Artois region.
The Arras area has a new monument from 2014, the ‘Anneau de la Mémoire’ (‘Ring of Remembrance’) which memorialises the war dead of the local area in an intriguing and effective way. The memorial is a large elliptical structure comprising 500 10-foot-high panels inscribed with the names of all 576,606 casualties of all nationalities and ranks who perished in the Nord and Pas-de-Calais regions. These are displayed in alphabetical order of surname.
All photographs were taken either by me or by members of my immediate family and are copyright. They are however available to download or copy for use for any non-profit-making purposes. A report of their use would be appreciated.
No book illustrations, maps, postcards or other scanned material used in my "Aspects of Remembrance" presentation are included here.