Saturday, November 17, 2018

Arras To Cambrai

A reminder to members of City Daily Photo: the theme day for December is Joy.

The Battle of Arras followed Amiens, and here in this part of the exhibit, a life sized mock-up was set up with a Canadian soldier readying a grenade.

Across from him was a German pillbox, with a cut out in the side allowing visitors to look inside.

The wall nearby featured this quote and photograph- a stark reminder of the war: could you really trust someone who was surrendering to you, particularly given the way your fellow soldiers had been treated by their side?

Throughout this exhibit- and indeed throughout the permanent galleries of the Museum- panels can be found showing individuals of the period. Some of them are officers, others enlisted men. In this case it was a medical officer, Captain Frederick Banting, who served with his fellow Canadians throughout the Hundred Days. The doctor and his colleagues would discover insulin after the war.

Nurses served at the front, exposed to much the same dangers as the soldiers. This panel tells of Lillian Galbraith, and includes service medals.

Arras, like the other battles of the Hundred Days, continued to carry the momentum forward for the Allies, but it was a hard victory.

This painting was part of the exhibit, and is part of the museum's collection of war art. Frederick Varley painted German Prisoners after the war, depicting German soldiers in custody. As the war drove towards its close, demoralized soldiers were captured or gave themselves up to Allied soldiers. After the war, Varley would join the Canadian artists called The Group Of Seven.

This map gave the status quo for the Allies as late September 1918 fell over the front. 

For the Canadians, the next battle would be at Cambrai.


  1. I don´t know about German soldiers, but my Mom´s Dad - I never met him, hence Granddad would be just wrong, he was a Polish soldier and came back from war captivity in Russia. My Mom run off scared when he came back, long, red beard and hair, she just thought he was a "dangerous man".
    This is also what war is about.
    War is just stupid. And sadly it never ends.

  2. Afraid the mock up is a joke the poor guy would have been cut in two by the machine gun, and unless he was lucky in not been seen testing the granade though the embrasure would have been harder unless he was beside it. We have pillboxes like that all around our country, quite a few near where I live. Looks like quit a good exhibition

  3. Don't the museums to a wonderful job of their displays. I went to the 100 years of WW1 display at our War Memorial in Canberra.

  4. This is a history lesson... we should never forget.

  5. ...remembering an ugly period of history.

  6. Hello,

    It is part of history we should never forget. I am always on the side of peace. Enjoy your weekend.

  7. It's almost unimaginable the horrors of the two world wars, all wars really. We have to hold hope that there won't be another ✨

  8. You are showing us a very interesting and informative exhibition again.

  9. I am again impressed with the Canadian memorials. Thank you for sharing this.

  10. i enjoy the shot of the men drink from their cups ... i bet that was kind of messy ...wonder what they were made of tin? or? ( :

  11. This looks like a very well organized exhibit. A good reminder to all of us of what has happened in the past.

  12. Interesting exhibits but I just hope there will never be wars again.

  13. A remarkable subject for a painting.

  14. There is a lesson to be learned here.

  15. The war was a long hard slog. You show hundreds of men on a long trail. I guess it would be toward the front or a certain battle.

  16. @Iris: that is true.

    @Bill: the only defensive spots we have around here would be fortifications against naval bombardments, but because the ground wars of the last century were never fought here, there was never a need for anything like a pillbox.

    @Joan: this museum did a good job with this exhibit.

    @Catarina: I agree.

    @Tom: very ugly.

    @Eileen: thank you.

    @Grace: sometimes you wonder if we're on the edge of another one.

    @Jan: I certainly found it enlightening.

    @DJan: you're welcome.

    @Beth: at the time, it would have been tin cups. Easily cleaned and stashed in their kits.

    @Jeanie: I found it very well done.

    @Nancy: we can hope.

    @Marleen: yes, and very much in keeping with his later style.

    @Sharon: definitely.

    @Red: it would be.

  17. Informative exhibition and post, William.

  18. It is horrifying. Why do we do this?

  19. From what I've been told, those pillboxes were very difficult to overcome and destroy but once you got on top of them, it was all over for the Germans and carnage ensued. An excellent post and I appreciate the recognition of the contribution nurses made to the war effort ... many were killed and wounded just as were the soldiers.

  20. Hello William!
    This is a great exhibition and it’s a part of history we should never forget!
    The painting is very impressive! Thank you for visiting my blog!
    I’m following you now! Have a lovely weekend!

  21. That last pic of the soldiers marching really got me, William.

  22. That view inside the pillbox is frighteningly real. Good post, William.

  23. Very impressive exhibition..a lot can be learned here.

  24. @Karl: it is quite a museum.

    @Sandi: at some level, war is in our nature.

    @Lowell: that took incredible courage, being a nurse in those conditions.

    @Dimi: thank you!

    @RedPat: me too.

    @Catalyst: thanks!

    @Tamago: that's true.

  25. This is a very interesting exhibit William, thanks for sharing!

  26. The exhibition is a wonderful way to share the history so you never forget.

  27. Never again to be repeated, I hope.

  28. Another great historical exhibit and photos ~ ^_^

    Happy Day to you,
    A ShutterBug Explores,
    aka (A Creative Harbor)

  29. I do think the museums do an excellent job of their displays, especially the pillbox one.

    All the best Jan

  30. @Denise: you're welcome.

    @Bill: quite true.

    @Revrunner: hopefully.

    @Carol: thank you.

    @Jan: I agree.

    @marie: it is.

  31. History. I sure wish humans learned from it.

  32. Seems a bit incongruous to mention the theme is joy and then show a soldier with a grenade. Oh well, we do need to study history!

  33. A costly event for mankind. Let's hope we can learn something from our costly past!