A Memorial Visit, 2018

Remembrance visit


On the 11th August 2018 we left home heading for France.

The journey was split with a visit on the Saturday to Canterbury with a view to seeing

the cathedral. Fat chance of that, I'm a Yorkshire man and refuse to pay 12.50 just to

walk around the outside of a building! So after an afternoon's shopping we returned

to our accommodation and a good meal followed by a nights interrupted sleep.

The bed was a little, er, uncomfortable.


Sunday started with a visit to Whitstable. Expensive parking, but we had an enjoyable

wander around and were impressed with Tankerton. On the road it was on to the Roman

remains at Reculver and a plate of mussels, winkles, prawns and various fish stick type

things, very tasty. Fed we explored a little further stopping at the Spitfire and Hurricane

Memorial Museum at Manston, a WW2 fighter base. We also visited the RAF Manston

History Museum whilst there, they share a car park. Finally back at our lodgings we ate

and had another poor night's sleep.


Up early on the Monday we headed to the Channel Tunnel, had a terrible loading session

(new passport control manned by the French!) and soon were in France.

A visit to the super gun bunkers at Mimoyecques and a short drive later found us in

Wimereux, where we had Moules Frites for lunch. Well fed we headed to our bed for

the next two nights at la Ferme du Manoir de Brugnobois, where we had stayed a mere

six weeks earlier. A plated salad was provided for our evening meal, very nice and a good,

no, very good night's sleep was had.


Tuesday 14th August 2018, today is the reason for the visit. One hundred years ago to

this day Val's great uncle, George Wilfred Jones, died of his wounds in France and is

buried at the Longuenesse war graves cemetery just outside St Omer.

We visited in the morning when we  left a memorial card in the locker with the register

and other epitaphs before  having a walk around the peaceful grounds. Although we never

knew Val's great uncle we were moved by the day, and the thoughts of others who had

visited on the centennial days that their relatives had died, it seems that the sacrifice

of these souls over a hundred years ago still is felt today.

We said goodbye to the cemetery and headed out to the coast.

A drive up the Opal Coast raised the mood and we were soon enjoying the views and

sunshine. We ate well in a cafe at Cap Gris Nez before driving on to Cap Blanc Nez, where

we turned around and drove back down the coast. A different direction gave different

views and was worth doing. It was while driving up that I saw a BMW R9T Pure in the wild,

it looked good and sounded better, yes this could be the bike for the trip down the Alps.

Not only did we see a wild Pure there was a Scrambler parked next to it at Cap Gris Nez!

Back at the hotel we ate in the restaurant and retired for another good night's  sleep.


Wednesday morning found us back on an early train and heading home, arriving home late

afternoon. The Channel Tunnel was slower loading this time, both ways, than previous trips,

let's hope this isn't going to get even slower when the UK finally leaves the EU.