Renewed focus for remembrance tourism
France remains in the international spotlight as centenary commemorations continue for the Great War of 1914-18. The Battle of the Somme, one of the most infamous battles of the whole conflict, will be remembered in 2016, its name forever associated with trench warfare and lost youth
Friday 30 November
Remembrance tourism will again have its own dedicated area on the French stand at World Travel Market during the first week in November at London’s Excel. Partners working together on Stand EU2000 are Aisne Tourism, Amiens Tourism, Champagne Tourism, Nord-Pas de Calais Tourism and Somme 2016.
A special event will also take place on Monday 2 November to launch an exhibition of Wool War One, an extraordinary remembrance project by a French artist. Wool was of huge importance to soldiers during World War I, and artist and creator Délit Maille will be bringing 540 knitted soldiers to WTM, a sample of the 800 figures lovingly worked by 500 knitters from 5 continents. The soldiers have so far been displayed in northern France and at the Grand Palais in Paris. Attendance at the WTM inauguration (12.30-2.30) is by invitation only so please register your interest.
The Battle of the Somme was the first major Allied offensive, the infantry attack launching on 1 July 2016 after a week of artillery bombardment designed to annihilate German positions. But the bombardment had failed, resulting in 57,000 British casualties on the first day alone and 420,000 by the end of the battle five months later.
Official commemorations will start on 1 July 2016 at locations round Thiepval, Lochnagar and Beaumont-Hamel with an evening concert by Barbara Hendricks in Albert. Events will continue throughout the summer to remember the fallen from all nations, including South Africa and Australia, with a rich cultural, scientific and artistic programme continuing in Amiens, the closest city to the Somme Front. A new interpretation centre opens in June at Thiepval, part of the Museum of the Great War in Péronne.
For further information please contact
Head of Public Relations Department
Lincoln House - 300 High Holborn, London WC1V 7JH United Kingdom
Tel. +00 44(0) 20 7061 6624, www.france.fr