At Notre Dame de Lorette 

Our first cemetery gave us an idea of the scale of the loss of life in the First World War.


As we walked between the thousands of crosses marking the graves of French soldiers, we started to try to imagine the loss and grief that just one family would experience. It was impossible to the try to multiply that grief by a row of individuals nevermind the 20,000 in the identified graves and 22,000 in the mass graves.

We talked about what conditions must have been like on the battlefields as we stood in the rain just for a few minutes.

In one part of the cemetery are graves of Muslim soldiers who fought for France. The grave stones have a solemn beauty but it seems sad that these graves are in a distant corner of the cemetery.