WESTERN FRONT MUSEUMS AND COMMEMORATIVE SITES


Today, at a number of places along the line of the Western Front, sections of battlefield sites have been preserved, and museums established which will help keep alive the memory of those who fought in the Great War.

Below is a list of some of these places. I know it to be incomplete and that there are, for example, several other museums in Belgium. If anyone can give me further information about these please e-mail me at: karl.murray@tibus.com

Also, use the above address to let me know of any mistakes made, or changes that are necessary

Much of my information was obtained from the Association Internationale des Sites et Musées de la Guerre de 1914 - 1918 the address of which is given at the end


REGION NAME DETAILS OPEN TIMES/
PRICE
ADDRESS
The Salient In Flanders Fields Museum
Located in The Cloth Hall
A modern interactive museum which shows the destruction of the old town, and the distress suffered by soldiers and citizens at war.
Includes many personal exhibits.
1 April to 30 Sept
10.00 - 18.00

1 Oct to 31 Mar
10.00 - 17.00 (Closed Mondays)

Entrance fees:
Adults: 250 B. francs
Children (7 to 15): 125 B. francs
(Under sevens - free)
Special rates for groups
Grote Markt 34
B - 8900 Ieper
Belgium
Tel: 057/20.07.24
Fax: 057/21.85.89
Click for Web link
Pas-de-Calais Notre-Dame de Lorette Memorial Artois battles of 1915 - 100,000 dead.
French National military cemetery with 20,000 graves.
Open all year
Free entrance
Ablain St-Nazaire
62153 Souchez
Tel: 03.21.45.15.80
Pas-de-Calais Notre-Dame de Lorette
Museum of 1914-1918
On top of Notre-Dame de Lorette Hill.
Reconstruction displays.
Animated laser effects.
Open daily 9.00 - 20.00
Adults: 10 - 20 francs
62154 Ablain St-Nazaire
Tel: 03.21.45.15.80
Fax: 03.21.59.17.76
Pas-de-Calais La Targette Museum Two kilometres from Vimy Ridge.
3,500 items on display from both World Wars.
Open daily
Adults; 10 - 20 francs
Musée de la Targette
48 rue Nationale
62580 Neuville St Vaast
Tel & Fax:
03.21.59.17.76
Pas-de-Calais Canadian Monument and Memorial Park The park, in which this fine memorial is set, has restored trenches and tunnels and is planted with trees brought from Canada Park: open all year from 8.00 to dusk.
Free entrance.
Tunnels: free guided visits from 1st April to 30 Nov. (10.00 - 17.30).
Monument & Parc Commemoratifs du Canada,
62580 Vimy,
Tel: 03.21.48.72.29
Fax: 03.21.58.58.34
Pas-de-Calais Butte de Warlencourt Small hill which saw heavy fighting during Battle of the Somme.
Located north-east of Albert on D929
Owned and maintained by the Western Front Association
Open all year.
Access free
Western Front Association,
P.O. Box 1914,
READING,
RG4 7YP,
England.
Somme Historial de la Grande Guerre Trilingual museum opened in 1992.
Shows life in the trenches & to the rear.
Many varied features.
Open from 18 Jan. to 19 Dec each year.
Opening times vary according to season. Closed on Mondays in off-seasons.
Adults: 20 - 39 francs.
Historial de la Grande Guerre,
Château de Péronne,
B.P. 63-80201 Peronne Cedex.
Tel: 03.22.83.14.18
Fax: 03.22.83.54.18
Somme Rancourt Memorial Chapel Private chapel built in memory of French soldiers killed during Somme offensive in 1916.
Display of documents and battlefield items.
Free access all year.
Opening hours vary according to season.
Chapelle-Memorial du Souvenir Français,
R.N. 17,
80360 Rancourt.
Tel: 03.22.85.04.47
Fax: 03.22.85.09.15
Somme "Somme 1916" Shelters Museum Presents a realistic view of the life of a front-line soldier.
Set in an air-raid shelter built in 1939
Open from 1st March to 30th November.
Times vary according to season.
Adults: 10 - 20 francs.
Musée des Abris "Somme 1916",
80300 Albert.
Tel: 03.22.75.16.17
Fax: 03.22.74.38.30
Somme Delville Wood Memorial and Museum Park, and outstanding memorial to South African soldiers of Great War. Open February to November. (Closed Mondays & public holidays.)
Free entrance.
80360 Longueval.
Tel: 03.22.85.02.17
Fax: 03.22.85.13.60
Somme Ulster Memorial Tower & Visitors' Centre Memorial to men of 36th (Ulster) Division who fought on the 1st July 1916 at the Battle of the Somme. Open: February - November. (Closed Mondays & public holidays.)
Free entrance.
Route de St. Pierre Divion,
80300 Thiepval,
Tel: 03.22.74.87.14
Fax: 03.22.74.80.68
Somme Newfoundland Memorial Park and Monument Preserved battle field where Canada's Royal Newfoundland Regiment was all but wiped-out on 1st July, 1916 Open all year.
Free entrance.
rue de l'Eglise,
80300 Hamel,
Tel: 03.22.76.20.22
Fax: 03.22.76.49.88
Somme The Little Train of the Haute Somme Museum of military and industrial railways. Rides in original rolling stock. Open 1st May - 30th Sept.
Trains leave from FROISSY station, near Bray.
A.P.P.E.V.A.,
B.P. 106 - 80001 Amiens Cedex 1,
Tel: 03.22.44.55.40
Fax: 03.22.44.04.99
Somme Franco-Australian Museum Two kilometres from the Australian National Memorial.
A simple and moving evocation of the war-time life of the "Diggers".
Open: Saturdays from 14.00 - 18.00.
Entrance free.
9 rue Victoria,
80380 Villers-
Bretonneux
,
Tel: 03.22.48.03.06
Fax: 03.22.48.39.47
Somme Joint Command Hall Town hall where General Foch proclaimed Commander of the Allied armies on 26th March, 1918. Guided visits on request on normal working days.
8.00 - 18.00
Entrance free.
Hôtel de Ville,
2 Avenue Foch,
80600 Doullens,
Tel: 03.22.77.00.07
Fax: 03.22.32.43.45
Oise Mural Memorial Museum A collection of casts of carvings made in underground quarries by French, German, and American soldiers. Open: Wed, Fri, Sat, Sun.
14.30 - 18.30
Adults: 20 francs
60550 Verneuil-
en-Halatte
,
Tel: 03.44.25.30.10
Fax: 03.44.25.39.02
Oise Armistice Clearing Location where Armistice was signed.
Replica Armistice wagon.
Stereoscopic displays in museum.
Numerous memorials.
Open daily except Tuesdays.
Winter:
9.00 - 12.00/14.00-17.30
Summer:
12.30-12.30/14.00-18.00
Rethondes (5 kilometres from Compiègne)
Tel: 03.44.85.14.18
Aisne National Museum of Franco-American Co-operation Collection of souvenirs and documents relating to American humanitarian aid during both World Wars.
Library, archives, exhibits
Open daily except Tuesdays.
10.00-12.30/14.00-17.00
Entrance 10-15 francs
Guided tours in English & French
Château de Blérancourt,
02300 Blérancourt,
Tel: 03.23.39.60.16
Fax: 03.23.39.62.85
Aisne Caverne du Dragon Museum in a cave. Part of a former quarry at the centre of the Chemin des Dames which was occupied by both French and German soldiers. Open daily except Tuesdays.
10.30-12.00/14.00-18.00
Adults: 15 francs
Children: 10 francs
D 18 - "Chemin des Dames",
Oulches la Vallée Foulon
02160 Beaurieux..
Tel: 03.23.22.44.90
Aisne Underground Quarries, Soissons All aspects of the lives of French soldiers carved into the rock. Tours, by appointment, March to October 02290 Nouvron-Vingre.
Tel: 03.23.53.17.37 or
03.23.74.25.90
Marne Battles of the Marne Memorial and Dormans Ossuary National memorial with crypt and chapel.
Ossuary holds death mask of Marshal Foch.
Open:
May to November:
Saturdays:
14.30 - 18.00
Sundays:
10.00-12.00/14.30/18.00
13 June - 30 Aug:
Daily, 14.30-18.00
Entrance free
51700 Dormans.
Tel: 03.26.58.21.45
Fax: 03.26.58.25.55
Marne Navarin Farm Ossuary Memorial Located on D77 35 km north of Châlon sur Marne
Set among surviving trench lines.
Chapel & crypt contain remains of 10,000 soldiers, and tomb of General Gouraud.
Open: May to October on Wed, Fri, Sat, and Sun:
13.30 - 18.00
Entrance free
M. R. de Grammont,
51600 Souain.
Tel: 03.26.70.11.82
Meuse Butte de Vauquois Important location of the "War of the Mines".
Guided tours of underground galleries.
Free access to mine crater paths.
Open: 1st Sunday of each summer month. 55270 Vauquois.
Tel: 03.29.80.73.15
Meuse Memorial de Verdun Located on site of 1916 battle.
Substantial displays of artifacts and documents.
Open:
15 Jan - 31 Mar and 1 Oct - 14 Dec: 9.00-12.00/14.00-18.00
1 Apr - 30 Sep: 9.00- 18.00
Adults: 20 francs
Mémorial de Verdun,
55100 Fleury devant Douaumont.
Tel: 03.29.84.35.34
Fax: 03.29.84.45.54
Meuse Douaumont Ossuary The Ossuary holds the remains of 130,000 French and German soldiers in a single resting place.
Audio-visual presentation
Open: 1 March - 30 November.
Free entrance to Ossuary.
Audio-visual: Adults: 15 francs
Ossuaire de Douaumont,
55100 Douaumont.
Tel: 03.29.84.54.81
Fax: 03.29.86.56.54
Meuse Verdun Battlefields Open-air museum.
Remains of fortifications.
12 Signposted walks.
Open all year.
Free entrance.
1 avenue du Corps Européen,
55100 Fleury devant Douaumont.
Tel: 03.29.84.35.34
Fax: 03.29.84.45.54
Meuse Forts Douaumont, and Vaux These strategic positions were fiercely fought over in 1916. Open all year.
Hours vary with the season.
Adults: 8 - 15 francs
Office de Tourisme de Verdun.
Tel: 03.29.86.14.18
Fax: 03.29.84.22.42
Meuse Underground Citadel Unique tour presenting the daily life of the French soldier.
Tour by miniature train.
Open all year.
Adults: 15 - 30 francs.
Citadelle Souterraine,
15 avenue du 5éme. R.A.P.
55100 Verdun.
Tel: 03.29.86.14.18
Fax: 03.29.84.22.42
Meuse Fort de Troyon Built in 1878, it prevented Verdun from being surrounded in 1914.
Botanical walk.
Located on CD 964, 25km south of Verdun.
Open: Easter to 30 November.
Daily guided tours 14.00 - 19.00 (1 hour each).
55300 Lacroix-sur-Meuse.
Tel: 03.29.90.16.95
Vosges Tete-des-Faux Highest battlefield in Vosges.
Impressive setting - panoramic views.
Substantial remains.
Access via village of Le Bonhomme.
Open all year.
Free entrance.
Gîte de l'Etang du Devin,
68650 Lapoutroie.
Tel: 03.89.27.48.26
Fax: 03.89.27.05.58
Vosges Le Linge Memorial On site of 1915 battlefield.
Impressive French & German trenches.
Museum.
Located near Col du Wettstein (986 m.)
Open: 14 April - 11 November.
9.00 - 12.30/14.00-18.00
Mémorial du Linge,
BP 173 - 68003 Colmar Cedex.
Tel: 03.89.77.29.97
Vosges Hartmanns-
willerkopf National Memorial
"Viel Armand" national memorial.
National altar built over a crypt containing the remains of 12,000 French soldiers.
Open: 1 April - 31 October
8.30-12.00/14.00-18.30
Adults 5 francs
Routes des Crêtes (D431),
68700 Wattwiller.
Tel: 03.89.23.12.03
Vosges Hartmanns-
willerkopf Battlefield
("Vieil Armand")
Remains of the Great War along hill-top route des Crêtes: shelters, trenches, memorials, private monuments, cemeteries. Open all year.
Free access.
Guided tours on request.
Les Amis de "Hartmanns-
willerkopf,
49 route de Cernay,
68500 Hartmannswiller.
Tel: 03.89.76.73.14
Fax: 03.89.76.79.57


Note: At many of the above museums and commemorative sites, entrance rates for groups are available. Additionally, there are often are reduced rates for children


ASSOCIATIONS and ORGANISATIONS

Readers may find the following addresses useful.

VOLKSBUND DEUTSCHE KRIEGSGRÄBERFÜRSORGE (S.E.S.M.A.)

This Association is responsible under a Franco-German agreement for the care and upkeep of German military cemeteries, and is open to visitors at all times.

Service d'Entretien des Sépultures Militaires Allemandes,
S.E.S.M.A,
9 rue du Pré Chaudron,
B.P. 5123,
57074 METZ Cedex 3,

Tel: 03.87.74.75.76
Fax: 03.87.74.76.04

THE AMERICAN BATTLE MONUMENTS COMMISSION

This official agency of the United States government is responsible for the maintenance of American cemeteries overseas.

Sites are open throughout the year, and entrance is free.

69 rue du 19 janvier,
92380 GARCHES.

Tel: 02.47.01.19.76
Fax: 02.47.41.19.79

COMMONWEALTH WAR GRAVES COMMISSION

The Commission is responsible for the maintenance of the cemeteries containing the graves of British and Commonwealth soldiers killed during the two World Wars. It maintains war monuments built to the memory of those who have no known grave, and preserves records and registers.

Its sites are open all year.

Its address in France is:

COMMONWEALTH WAR GRAVES COMMISSION
rue Angélie Richard,
62217 BAURAINS.

Tel: 03.21.71.03.24
Fax: 03.21.71.39.22

Association Internationale des Sites et Musées de la Guerre de 1914 - 1918
B.P. 63 - 80201 PERONNE Cedex

Tel: 03.22.83.14.18


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