Day 4 of riding and “only” 53 miles to do according to the briefing. That also meant a leisurely start of 7 am breakfast instead of 6 am and a 4.7 mile ride to Etaples Cemetery. Etaples was a huge base in WW1 with 16 hospitals that could cope when full with 22000 wounded. Bear in mind most NHS hospitals have no more than 700-800 beds and that figure gives you an idea of the numbers of wounded. Etaples, also known as “Eat Apples” to the British Tommies also housed and the “Bull Ring” a training depot with capacity for up to 100000 troops. Those heading for the Western Front passed through here ,including those wounded and going back to the front, for “retraining” it was in 1917 also the scene of a mutiny where troops disobeyed orders to stay in camp and over 6 nights before other troops retired order “walked out” to the bars & brothels of Etaples, in the way that the camp permanent staff were. One skier died during the mutiny and after it was suppressed 50 court martialled, 4 convicted of Mutinity & 1 executed. Because of the presence of the hospitals Etaples CWGC cemetery is huge
with over 11000 graves inducing the only husband & wife to be buried in a CWGC cemetery!