VISIT: Pozieres Cemetery
This post on Pozieres Cemetery is part of a series on the Great War.
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This is a short one, but Pozieres Cemetery is worth a visit. As well as a large Commonwealth War Graves Commission Cemetery, the town was the site of a fierce battle involving the Australians at the Pozieres Windmill, which you will read about in an upcoming post. If you don’t have time to see many cemeteries in the area, this is one that is representative of the typical CWGC cemetery, with colonnades, Lutyens memorial and beautiful landscaping. I was very distracted by the magnificent hostas on the way in.
Pozieres Cemetery is one of the easier CWGC cemeteries to visit if you need level access, as it is flat. It is grassy, however, like most of the rest.
There is on-street parking, though you may find yourself across a busy road from the entrance. There are two steps down into the cemetery from the entrance, though you can see into the cemetery from the level.
While there are benches, they are less convenient. The benches are all up two steps from the grass level, which is unfortunate.
Images to pin:
Further Resources for visiting Pozieres Cemetery
The best single volume overview in my opinion – clear, lively, with helpful maps and a mix of overview and firsthand accounts – is The Great War Explained by Philip Stevens.
Respected historian Ian Kershaw’s To Hell and Back: Europe 1914-1949 covers the period from the outbreak of the first war to the recovery from the second.
if you are seeking a specific grave or want to make sure you haven’t missed anything, I recommend checking out the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and other sites.
There are very respectable overviews in both The Rough Guide to France (Rough Guides) and Lonely Planet France (Travel Guide). The Bradt Guide World War I Battlefields: A Travel Guide to the Western Front: Sites, Museums, Memorials (Bradt Travel Guides) is a great compromise between those and the intense detail of specialist battlefield guides – and the price has come down since I first encountered it!
If you are looking for comprehensive coverage, you can’t do better than Major & Mrs Holt’s Definitive Battlefield Guide Somme: 100th Anniversary (Major and Mrs Holt’s Battlefield Guides).
Transport to France
You can find some great deals on flights, hotels and packages with ebookers,
For those coming from the southern parts of the UK, it’s easy (and often cheaper) to take the ferry to Northern France. Of course, if you have an adapted car it also makes the whole trip easier. I love travelling with DFDS and have gone to Scandanavia and Amsterdam with them several times. Click here to visit their site. For other routes and operators, go to AFerry (click here) to search all the options.
If you are bringing your car, make sure your insurance is good. RAC has excellent Europe-wide roadside assistance (click here).
Car travel is the best way to get around the Somme battlefield. If you are hiring locally, you can do what we did and rent a car directly from Europcar (click here), who has a handy base at the train station in Lille as well as several around the region. Alternatively, the two companies I use regularly are Argus Car Hire (click here) and HolidayAutos (click here), both of which offer a range of providers and great value damage refund insurance at competitive prices.
If independent car travel isn’t an option for you, there are many touring options around the Somme battlefield – the leader amongst them being Shearings Holidays (click here). What you lose in independence you gain in knowledgeable and experienced guides. Often the tours are timed to coincide with particular commemorations. Alfa Tours (click here) also runs occasional tours to the Somme and Flanders.
Hotels and Attractions
My number one recommendation is to use TripAdvisor. It can also be hard to get good information on accessibility, so turning to crowdsourcing can be the most useful option, especially when considering hotels.
Find a great range of hotels and get free nights with Hotels.com or book a package deal with Let’s Go 2.
I get my travel money from the Post Office. Their rates are competitive and I love their buy-back policies.
If you’re a planner, you can get tickets online to lock in your must-dos. You can book attraction tickets and packages via www.tours4fun.com, from open-top bus tours to day trips. Tiqets has pretty much everything you could possibly want for many destinations!
Always make sure you have appropriate travel insurance – and insurance that covers any specific medical conditions. Travel Insurance 4 Medical treats medical conditions as a normal part of life and are worth checking out. Alpha Travel Insurance is also great for flexible needs.