Weekend in Northern France

Last weekend I went with a uni class to Northern France. We stayed in a place called Arras and we were looking at war memorials and the quarries that were then used in the first and second world wars.

Arras was truly beautiful. The town consisted of two main squares; La Grand' Place and La Place des Héros, both of which were so cute in the daylight and looked stunning when floodlit at night. They boasted an array of little shops, bars and restaurants as well as the Arras town hall and belfry, the Arras Cathedral and simply gorgeous architecture.

Seeing all the war graves was incredibly sobering. Obviously I knew the extent of the first world war, but somehow seeing them seemed to make it all seem more real than simply numbers. As well as there being graves with peoples names on, there were plenty that simply had 'A soldier who died' written on them. Some of the cemeteries then had chapels with all the names of soldiers who died but whose bodies were never found. Seeing the hundreds and hundreds of names, and seeing their ages - many of them only 19, was so sobering and emotive.

If I could go again, I 100% would, although I'd spend more time there and look at many more cemeteries. Although we saw what seemed like millions of graves, there were so many that we didn't have enough time to see.


As the horrors of the world wars are beginning to become out of living memory, I think it's important that we don't forget and remember all that millions of people gave up their lives for. It sounds cliche, but the world seriously wouldn't be the same if these wars hadn't happened, now it's up to us to make sure that they're never forgotten.

Em x

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