Spring is Here
Posted on 31st March 2014 by Julie and David Thomson in General News.
We are having some lovely spring weather on the Somme at the moment, the daffodils and blossom are out and the tulips are about to burst into colour. Long may it last! So recent guests have seen the Somme in magnificent weather.
The good weather is helping The Friends of Lochnagar who are making good progress with the new path around the entrance area leading up to the Cross. There is a lot of sawing, shaping, drilling and cementing going on and the dedicated volunteers are working very hard to make sure Lochnagar continues to be a fitting memorial to the lads who fell there. It is a fine balance between leaving the crater in it’s natural state, and making sure it is suitable for the thousands of visitors who come each year to pay their respects.
Sadly, we said goodbye to Don and Maureen Mitchell at The Ulster Tower this month. They have returned to Northern Ireland and they will be sorely missed by visitors to the Tower. Until permanent replacements have been found, Teddy and Phoebe will be looking after the Tower and tearoom as interim custodians. Those who have been visiting The Somme for a few years will remember Teddy and Phoebe who ran the tearoom for many years.
Mayoral Elections – on Sunday 23rd and Sunday 30th March local elections were held across France. We are now eligible to vote and it has been interesting watching the electoral system unfold, and indeed to attend the village hall to cast our vote. As a result of the 2 rounds of voting, the outgoing mayor of La Boisselle has not been reelected, but at the time of writing this, it is not known who has been chosen as mayor by the 11 councillors who have ben elected to represent the Commune of Ovillers La Boisselle.
Earlier in March we were delighted to welcome father and son Ronald and Nigel who were visiting to pay respects to their grandfather/great grandfather, Private Edward Evans, who is remembered with honour on Thiepval Memorial. Nigel is currently serving in the RAF and it was a privilege for us to attend a wreath laying ceremony with them at Thiepval. Nigel writes “Your research into Pte Edward Evans really helped the trip go well. This morning’s visit to Thiepval was very fitting and appropriate, we are glad you came with us.”
At the beginning of March we helped Dennis and Neal from Australia with some research they are doing into the Australian battalions around Pozieres. Dennis is the founder of Fallen Diggers, a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to finding trench systems where the Australians fought and researching the experiences of missing WW1 Australian soldiers. Dennis and Neal made some good progress while they were here and will be returning to continue their work.
We hope the spring weather continues to be lovely here and wherever you are.