This morning we headed out to one of the places where the war on the western front started for Australia, the Western Front in 1916. First we checked out the Lochnagar crater created when the British assaulted the German line at the start of the Somme offensive. Then on to Pozières where so many of the 1st, 2nd and 4th lost their lives for all but miniscule advances.
A visit solemn grave stop was followed by a visit to the British Memorial at Theipval with its overwhelming solemnity and 70,000 names of those lost in the Somme valley a century ago.
The Newfoundlanders memorial at Beaumont-Hamel gave another perspective to the conflict. A small nation, only able to raise one battalion, and a striking memorial with the trenches still there.
Then on to Bertangles, site of Monash's headquarters from where he directed the successful battles of Le Hamel and Amiens that ensured the war ended in 1918. His knighthood in the field was duly re-enacted.