The Notre Dame de Lorette French National Memorial & Cemetery, nr Arras, France.

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The Notre Dame de Lorette French National Memorial & Cemetery, nr Arras, France. Stock Photo
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The Notre Dame de Lorette French National Memorial & Cemetery, nr Arras, France.
Maurice Savage / Alamy Stock Photo
Image ID: B4KAHT
The Notre Dame de Lorette French National Memorial & Cemetery, nr Arras, France. "One of the major French National Memorials and Cemeteries the chapel and lighthouse tower at Notre Dame de Lorette dominate the ridge for which the French fought a long and bloody battle. The battle for this imposing 165 metre high hill and its chapel raged for twelve months from October 1914 until October 1915. The first stone was laid by Marshal Pétain on 19 June 1921 preceding four years of construction before it was inaugurated on 2 August 1925 by Paul Painlevé. The crypt contains the coffins of Unknown Soldiers from the Second World War, the Concentration Camps (A deportee), Northern Africa, and Indo-China. Immediately on entering you will see a marked tomb on the floor. The simple inscription states that here lie the remains of thousands of soldiers - in fact about 23 000 unknown soldiers. The initial sight of this enormous 13 hectares cemetery is imposing, but as you begin to walk around, its size seems to grow as the eye catches yet more crosses as you realise that you are standing on the crest of the hill. The army gathered up all of their dead from the battlefield with the exception of La Targette (With its 11 000 graves) and a few other smaller cemeteries including that at Hébuterne containing soldiers killed in the diversionary attack on 7 June 1915. Each was given a similar grave - including General Barbot of the Alpine Corps (Who is buried close to the main entrance). At the far end of the same row as the General is a double grave: that of Anatole and Edmond De Sars, father and son, killed in 1914 and 1940. 20 000 identified graves are joined by two mass graves of unidentified soldiers each containing about 5 000 soldiers in front of the lantern and if you look in the trees by the Muslim plot you will see a further row of mass graves each containing about 1 800 soldiers. All told there are about 45 000 burials here. (Source: webmatters.net)
Location: Notre Dame de Lorette, French National Memorial, nr Arras, France