Touring the Battlefields - The First Tours

The Michelin guide of 1919 Almost as soon as the Great War came to an end in November 1918 visitors flocked to the battlefields; either out of curiosity or to visit the grave of a loved one, or even sadder, to visit the general area where a loved one fell and whose remains had not been found.

Some had even made the journey whilst the war was still being fought.

The Michelin Tyre Company was one of the first commercial companies offering guided tours to the battlefields of France (Somme) and Belgium (Ypres).

They published a guide to the battlefields in 1919 (yes - 1919!) with fascinating pictures of the recently abandoned battlefields with all the material of warfare still littering the battered shell pocked landscapes.

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Michelin guide to the Ypres battlefield produced in 1919.  Note how the cemeteries are still in their 'raw' state - and the vehicle used by the guide editor!

Click the photographs to enlarge.

Next - Visiting the Battlefields Today

"Suicide Ditch" was a term used by British soldiers to refer to the front-line trench.

- Did you know?