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Friday 27 April 2018 - The Somme to Paris

The group toured more of the Somme including the inspiring Australian 2nd Division Memorial and the trenches of Mont St Quentin. The group then headed east out of the Somme battlefields and into the area that was the scene of a series of great Australian victories in late 1918: the Aisne. Sites visited here included the 4th Australian Division Memorial at Bellenglise and the village of Montbrehain - Australia's last battlefield of the war. After a long and at times confronting trip, the final dinner gave the students' time to reflect on what they had experienced throughout the journey across the western front.

Photos of the students' final tour of the Somme as they make their way back to Paris to fly home have been added to the photo gallery.

Student views

Reflections on Tour

Today we commenced the final day on the battlefields and our final day under the knowledgeable and observant eye of our tour guide Pete. We kicked the day off by travelling to the battle sites of Pozieres and went to the First Division Memorial, Tanks in War Memorial and the site of the infamous Pozieres Windmill. Standing where 23,000 Australians were made casualties was a moving and very touching moment for us.

We then moved on to Mont Saint Quentin, which was a pivotal battle for Australia in the war. The Second Division Memorial was a standout as it is the only divisional memorial with a different design to the other sites. Hearing some of the stories surrounding this memorial in particular, especially the destruction and recreation of the site in 1970s was incredible and really extended our knowledge. Mont Saint Quentin was a true highlight of the day for me because of what an incredibly beautiful site it was.

After lunch and touring a unique and comprehensive museum in town, it was off to the final site of the tour, the Fourth Division Memorial. We completed our last commemoration and service for the tour and the realisation that the battlefield aspects of the tour were now sadly over.

One mixed emotion filled bus trip later, we arrived at our hotel where we bid farewell to our bus driver John and our incredible tour guide Pete. It was a touching goodbye for everyone. Overall, it was an amazing last day of the tour, and one I will never forget.

By Jack Frey and Fenlan Miller.

Student and chaperone commemorations

Each member of the tour group researched three service personnel. This information has been captured in a State Library of Queensland Historypin.

Commemorations were held today for:

St Quentin Canal

Private Arthur James Marshall
(Commemorated by Lillian Ward)

Arthur James Marshall was born on the 28th January 1890. After enlisting on the 6th July 1915, Arthur was accepted into the 18th Battalion. In 1917, Arthur's unit was involved in the follow-up of German forces during their retreat to the Hindenburg Line. The unit was also involved in heavy fighting around Warlencourt. The battalion took part in three major battles before the year was out the second Bullecourt in France, Menin Road and Poelcappelle in Belgium. The battalion was disbanded on the 11th April 1919 when The Armistice was declared. Arthur returned home to Sydney.

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This page was last reviewed on 17 May 2018

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