A distant cousin was the only member of my mother’s family that I know of who lost his life in World War I. If I was going to see war graves, I thought it only fitting to see one where there was some family history.
So from Calais, we drove to within spitting distance of the Belgium border to visit the Cite Bonjean Military Cemetery in Armentieres and pay tribute to my Pop’s cousin, Patrick O’Farrell from Tallangatta, and his mates who lost their life in Flanders.
I don’t know his story, but according to the National Archives, when he signed up he was 29 years old, the third finger on his left hand was missing and he had been apprenticed as a blacksmith.
The rain pelted as we visited the Somme area. The local information offices provide an amazing amount of detail so our task was to stay relatively dry as we visited various sites. Of course we concentrated on the Australian sites such as Pozières, Le Hamel where John Monash made his name with an invincible battle and Villers-Bretonneux.