Today we finally visited the Theipval memorial to the missing of the Somme in the first world war. It’s only 1.5 hours drive to the North-East of us, but for some reason we’ve never gotten around to visiting it before now.

We couldn’t have picked a worse day for our visit – it was bitterly cold with a biting wind and the steps of the memorial were covered in sheet ice. But maybe that made it all the more poignant when you think of what the troops had to endure in those trenches in the winter.

The memorial is covered with over 72,000 names – these just being the names of the troops killed in the battle of the Somme whose bodies were never recovered so they have no graves… 

Theipval Memorial

The list of names is arranged in alphabetical order within rank within regiment. So the photo below shows not all the Smiths, just the private Smiths from one regiment…Thiepval Names

As well as the memorial, there are 300 French graves (all simply marked “Inconnu”) and 300 British graves (all marked “A Soldier of the Great War”).Thiepval Graves

Katie looking at Graves
Katie was very moved…