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Lille and our tour to Frommelles

After our fantastic time in Paris we caught a short hour long train north Lille. We only had one full day to spend in this area and we had a full itinerary. We hired another car and drove from Lille to Frommelles and visited the sites where The Battle of Frommelles took place in WWI (19th – 20th July, 1916), where Mike’s Grandfather had fought.

One of many memorials in and around Fromelles remembering soldiers from WW1.

One of many memorials in and around Fromelles remembering soldiers from WW1.

A total of 1,780 Australian men died. We also saw several gravesites dedicated to Australians who lost their lives in battle.

This is a tomb for a Australian soldier who was found but not recognised. There were lots of these gravestones.

This is a tomb for a Australian soldier who was found but not recognised. There were lots of these gravestones.

This day was quite a confronting experience particularly as many of the remains of these men were not found and it was only in 2008 that an archaeologist from Glasgow University proved conclusively that large numbers of Australian and British soldiers had been buried there by the Germans after the Battle.

We visited several memorial, this one was a recently constructed...

We visited several memorials, this one was a recently constructed...

These grave sites are all very new as the Australian and British Governments had the War Commission oversee a project that would recover and rebury these soldiers in newly constructed cemeteries.

This plaque illustrates the recovery of the bodies of Australian and British soldiers discovered in 2008

This plaque illustrates the recovery of the bodies of Australian and British soldiers discovered in 2008.

Another great place we recommend visiting is the town of Bullecourt. It is only 50mins (by car) south of Lille. They remember and honour the troops in the Great War quite a lot, in particularly the Aussie Soldiers.

From the moment we entered Bullecourt we felt very welcome.

From the moment we entered Bullecourt we felt very welcome.

Le Canberra. What an honour to have our nations capital used as the name of these quaint French Pub.What an honour to have our nations capital used as the name of this quaint French Pub.

It was a very special place to see. The primary school was called Ecole Des Cobbers and had Kangaroos symbols on the school sign, on the roof of the main school building and a toy kangaroo on the window sill of a classroom. These French kids were not going to forget what the Australian soldiers did for them so many years ago.

This sign was on seen as you enter the school

This sign was on seen as you enter the primary school.

The kids had a competition to make these posted, in remembrance.

The kids had a competition to make these posted, in remembrance.

Towards the end of the day we made our way to the Menin Gates in Ypres to view a live play of the ‘Last Post’ which is played every single night of the year at 8pm. We didn’t visit these gates on any particularly significant day however there were and apparently always are a significant number of people who arrive for the Last Post every night and then wander through the memorial. It was very moving.

The Menin Gate in Ypres, France.

The Menin Gate in Ypres, France. This is a superb memorial.

The last post is played here every night at 8pm.

The last post is played here every night at 8pm.

For extended tours through this region, be sure to visit the Bookstore in Ypres just near Menin Gates.

After a very long day we spent the night in Lille and the following morning after a walk through the city, we were back on the train and on our way to Paris…..

Check out more photos in the gallery:


  • Martinwelsh

    Thank you for this. I want to go in July. I'm an Aussie who lives in London. I've been to Normandy but not Frommelle.

  • Our pleasure Martin, I hope you have a great time. If you have anymore questions please feel free to ask us.
    Great time to go there!! Should be a ‘little’ warmer than when we visited!!!
    Cheers
    Pete & Elissa
    ByTheShaw

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