Battle of Arras, April 9th 1917

Today marks the 96th Anniversary of the start of the Battle of Arras. I have to admit that I only know this is the anniversary because of Paul Reed’s Blog which contains some really good links for more information as has this Blog by Mark Banning Much of the area that the battle was fought across is flat but between Arras & Lens the area is dominated by Vimy Ridge and now Vimy Ridge is dominated by the Canadian National Memorial which marks the loss of 58,000 Canadians.

In a previous post The Canadians are coming I posted a picture of the Wounded Warriors at Vimy during last years ride. Below are some pictures I took at Vimy in 2010.

Help for Heroes Big Battlefield Bike Ride 2010 259 Help for Heroes Big Battlefield Bike Ride 2010 265 Help for Heroes Big Battlefield Bike Ride 2010 269 Help for Heroes Big Battlefield Bike Ride 2010 271 Help for Heroes Big Battlefield Bike Ride 2010 249 Help for Heroes Big Battlefield Bike Ride 2010 267

 

Leaving Arras and it’s stark white pillars we cycled through Loos and came to Dud Corner Cemetery where among the 684 headstones I found 2 of particular interest, one of Private Fynn of the Army Cyclist Corps and another of Capt Anketell Moutray Read VC 1st Batallion Northamptonshire Regt. whose citation reads:

“For most conspicuous bravery during the first attack near Hulluch on the morning of 25th September, 1915. Although partially gassed, Captain Read went out several times in order to rally parties of different units which were disorganised and retiring. He led them back into the firing line, and, utterly regardless of danger, moved freely about encouraging them under a withering fire. He was mortally wounded while carrying out this gallant work. Captain Read had previously shown conspicuous bravery during digging operations on 29th, 30th and 31st August, 1915, and on the night of the 29th-30th July he carried out of action an officer, who was mortally wounded, under a hot fire from rifles and grenades.”

There are another 20,000 men remembered on the Loos Memorial at Dud Corner who have no known grave but who were as important to their families as Fynn and Read.

Help for Heroes Big Battlefield Bike Ride 2010 277Help for Heroes Big Battlefield Bike Ride 2010 276

On a charity bike ride I found it amazingto find the grave of a member of the Army Cyclist Corps and will post a bit more about their history soon.

Thanks for reading and don’t forgetof you enjoy reading my posts you can comment to tell me what you think of my blog and most importantly donate to help me support Help for Heroes

Simon

 

 

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