Saturday, 29 June 2013

Lost in France - Contalmaison

Hopefully, I won't be, but many were in the First World War 1914-18. I've been honoured by being asked to represent the Council and the Lord Provost at the annual commemoration service at the memorial in the picture which is at Contalmaison, a small hamlet in northern France and was erected by the McCrae's Battalion Trust to honour the many young men who fell around this area at the start of the Battle of the Somme on 1st July 1916. The entire Hearts first team squad enlisted en masse into Sir George McCrae's battalion and some of them never returned. Several others were so badly injured that their football careers were prematurely ended as well their health being affected for the rest of their lives. The Contalmaison Cairn's elder sister, the Haymarket Memorial Clock will shortly be reinstalled to its rightful position and both are fitting tributes to the courage of young men who sacrificed all in one of the bloodiest conflicts in history. I'm travelling alone by train there and back but am looking forward to meeting up with the guys from the Trust on Sunday and paying my respects on Monday 1st July. 

No comments: