The next day, Saturday 16th April we decided to go to Albert. There was a market there and we needed more grocery shopping as well. (There are no shops in Lavieville)

You can see Albert from almost everywhere around where we are. Across these green and gold fields there is a cluster of buildings and rising above them a church. On the top of the spire is a golden Madonna holding the baby Jesus. During WWI the church was shelled and the Madonna toppled forward but did not fall to the ground. Allied troops said that if she fell, the war would be lost.

IMG_2803sm cpjpg.jpg

More market shopping and then a trip to the museum that lies in tunnels beneath the church. These medieval ruins were used again as air raid shelters during WWII.

Down a long flight of steps and then display cases of artefacts, many rusted or damaged-helmets,leggings,boots, belts and buckles, panniers, the list went on. Special cases held guns, bayonets, equipment for communications and for food distribution. There were hollows in the walls of the tunnel with recreations of trenches and shop front models in the uniforms of all the different battalions.

The German trenches in particular were strongly built defensive positions, timber lined and often equipped with some comforts.

It was a long walk to exit at the shop where all kinds of souvenirs were for sale. Some looked like the real thing and had authentication certificates. A troop of Australian schoolgirls preceded us.

And then out in front of the church we found a statue of a Digger.IMG_2809sm


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