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Remembrance Day : new War Memorial pays tribute to all soldiers who perished in the First World War

Posted under Notre Dame de Lorette

November 11, 2014 was a special day at Notre-Dame-de-Lorette. A hundred years after the start of the First World War in 1914, more than 550,000 men who lost their lives on the battlefields of northern France are being reconciled in a giant ring-shaped Memorial that floats over the site of one of the bloodiest conflicts of WWI.

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The “Ring of Memory” pays tribute to soldiers of all nationalities who perished in this land between 1914 and 1918. It is on the edge of Notre-Dame-de-Lorette French War cemetery, itself containing the bodies of over 40,000 soldiers.

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French President, François Hollande, inaugurated the “Ring of Memory” on November 11, 2014, thus recognizing the importance and significance of this Memorial. Photo credit : (AFP/Lionel Bonaventure)

Inside the 328 m elliptical ring are engraved the names of the 580,000 men who died in northern France during the First World War. The names are etched onto the 3 m high walls of the Memorial, arranged not by nationality or regiment but in alphabetical order to give a sense of the scale of the human suffering.

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Architect Philippe Prost said that the form of a ring was chosen to give a sense of unity to the names of fallen former enemies. “I was thinking about the rings you make when you’re a child, or a human ring when everyone holds each other’s hands in a sign of fellowship, and that seemed to me like the image, the form, best suited to speaking about these 600,000 soldiers killed in the Nord-Pas-de-Calais region, and who today are brought together all in one place ,” he said.

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Photo credit : (AFP)

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The exterior of the “Ring of Memory” is concrete, while panels on the inside are engraved with the names of the fallen. The construction of the Memorial cost 8 million euros. Photo credit : (AFP)

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Here is a video of the inauguration of the “Ring of Memory” :

 

4 responses so far

4 Responses to “Remembrance Day : new War Memorial pays tribute to all soldiers who perished in the First World War”

  1. Donna Benoiton 18 Jul 2015 at 4:42 am 1

    I wonder if My Great Uncle.. Private Stephen Peyton regiment # 2514 name is there. He was killed in the battle of Arras on April 24/17 at the age of 23. He survived 1 day but died of wounds at the 8th casualty clearing station and buried the Duisans British Cemetery, Etrun. He was from Baird Island Newfoundland Canada,
    (which is now called Fogo Island) Newfoundland was a colony of Britain until 1949 and then joined the Canada
    Stephan has never been visited by any of his family, maybe because of budget and distance, but you were talked about and cherished Great Uncle.. I am coming to visit you Uncle… in 2017… 100 years after your great sacrifice… You have not been forgotten…
    LOVE YOU !!! THANK YOU !!

  2. Arras Guideon 18 Jul 2015 at 1:32 pm 2

    Thank you Donna for this beautiful and moving testimony. Nobody here in France will ever forget the sacrifice of all these soldiers who fought for freedom. I can tell you that the War Memorials and War cemeteries are very well maintained in France throughout the year. That’s the minimum we can do to thank them all.

  3. Jan Babbon 16 May 2016 at 7:42 pm 3

    My daughter and I are coming to Arras on Saturday 21st, to celebrate the passing of my Great Uncle Bernard Verriour who is mentioned at Fauburg D’Amiens on Wall 10. Reading the War Diaries, I have found out that he died at Zouave Valley on May 24th 1916.
    I have no knowledge of the Ring of Memory. Shall be at the Boves as we loved those a few years ago.

  4. Edward Handleyon 28 Aug 2016 at 1:40 pm 4

    I visited on 21st June 2016, which was the 100th anniversary of the death of my great uncle, Lt. G.A.D. Black (Dudley Black) 22nd Royal Fusiliers who was killed on Vimy Ridge a few weeks before the Battle of the Somme. He was 20. We visited his grave in Cabaret Rouge and saw signs to the Ring at Notre Dame de Lorette where we found his name on the wall.

    The ring of remembrance is one of the most moving and spectacular memorials I have seen and I would recommend anyone travelling to that part of France to visit.

    Donna, I am sure your Great Uncle is listed, and next time I go, for I will go again, I will look for him. I hope one day you can as well.

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