Human chain to remember France's 'forgotten front'

Posted on on 04 October 2014
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A human chain will line up across former battlefields in Northern France on October 18th 2014 to highlight a 'forgotten front' of the First World War.

La Chaîne de la Mémoire et de la Paix aims to link 2,014 participants on a 10-kilometre route (6 miles) between villages in the Weppes district near Lille.

It will stand as an international symbol of peace and fraternity in countryside still littered with the ruins of concrete German bunkers.

The event takes place on the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Ligny le Grand, which marked the start of four years of occupation in 1914.

The chain will run from the German Military Cemetery at Illies (above), where 2,890 soldiers are buried, to Fromelles and the Commonwealth War Graves Commission's most recent cemetery.

Fromelles (Pheasant Wood) Military Cemetery, dedicated four years ago, is the last resting place of 250 Commonwealth soldiers, most of them Australian, whose remains were recovered in 2009 following research by French and Australian historians.

A museum, telling the story of the Battle of Fromelles in 1916, opened next to the cemetery in June 2014.

The human chain will also pass through the village of Aubers, where British forces suffered 11,600 casualties in an offensive in May 1915 aimed at securing a ridge of higher ground in the largely flat landscape.

More details of 'La Chaîne de la Mémoire et de la Paix' are available here. 

Source: Weppes Tourist Office

Images: Weppes Tourist Office and Peter Alhadeff, Centenary News

Posted by: Peter Alhadeff, Centenary News