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ItLUSTEATED MICHELLN GUIDES 
^ THE BATTLE-FIELDS (19144918) 



A 

A 




2 



ARRAS 

LENS-DOUAI 



AND 



THE BATTLES OF ARTOIS 



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ARRAS 



LENS - DOUAI 



AND 



THE BATTLES OF ARTOIS. 



" Proud and valorous City, previously 
the witness of many fierce "strifes... For 
more than four years bore with admirable 
fortitude the horrors of the unprecedented 
battle fought at her gates. Ruined and 
almost annihilated, did not despair but as 
soon as delivered, set to work again with 
admirable ardour. " 

Legion d'Honneur and Croix de Guerre. 



Compiled and published by : 
MICHELIN & ClE., [Clermont-Ferrand, France. 



All rights of translation, adaptation, or reproduction 'in part or whole I 
reserved in all countries. 



u 



THE OPERATIONS 

From 1914 




Formation of the Front. 
October 1914. 



French Break-through and Enemy 
Counter-attack, May 1915. 



In 1917 




British Offensive, April igi; 



British Offensives, April-May 1917. 



AROUNO ARRAS 
to 1916. 




Franco-British Offensive, Sept. 1915. 



1916. Situation unchanged. 



and 1918. 




German Offensive, March 1918. 



Victory Offensives, September 1918. 



THE RACE TO THE SEA AND THE FORMATION 
OF THE FRONT (1914). 

About the middle of August 1914, when the French began their 
offensive in Belgium, General d'Amade, in command of a group of 
territorial divisions, took up his head-quarters at Arras. After the 
check at Charleroi, these divisions fell back (August 27) to the south- 
west, on the left of the retreating French Armies. 

Light enemy forces entered Arras on September 6, withdrawing 
on the 9th, after requisitioning large quantities of stores. 
fi^^After the Battle of the Marne, the forces under General d'Amade 
left Amiens for Arras, the auxiliary corps of light cavalry (" spa/i/s ") 
driving out the German cavalry patrols. 




The Back to the Sea. (See the Michelin Ouide : The Yser and th» Belgian Coatt). 





General Maistre. 



General Fatolle. 



The enemy sought to outflank the French left, in order to force 
a decision, but the rapidity of tJie manoeuvre carried out by General 
Foch parried the danger. The scene of action moved northwards, 
from the banks of the Aisne, and developed into the " Race to the 
Sea ", described in the Guide: " TheYser and the Belgian Coast ". 

To the north-east of Arras, the Germans, thanks to their strong 
reserves, gradually drove back the light forces of the 1st Cavalry Corps. 





General d'TTrbal. 



GeN-ERAL he MAtm'lTFT. 




Attacks on Arras (Octoher 1914). Formation of the Front. 



A number of French brigades and divisions arrived from the east. 
On September 30, the Alpine Division (General Barbot) detrained at 
Arras, and the next day held large enemy forces in check on theCojeul 
Stream, and on the high ground near Monchy-le-Preux. 

Gu^mappe, Wancourt and Monchy-le-Preux were already occupied, 
when the enemy attacked. Spread over a very wide front, the Alpine 
Division was gradually forced back, finally coming to a stand on posi- 
tions facing east, where they held the Germans until the arrival of the 
10th Corps (General de Maud'huy). 

On October 3-4, the enemy renewed their attacks on Bcaurains. 
Mercatel and the suburbs of Arras (St. Laurent-Blangy and St. Nicolas) 
with increased violence, but the Alpine Division stubbornly resisted- 

Held in the centre, the enemy progressed northwards. On October 
4, they entered Lens, defended only by a group of cyclists and an 
unmounted brigade of the 5th Cavalry Division. After taking Sou- 
chez and Neuville-St-Vaast, the Germans gained a footing on the 
ridge of Notre-Dame-de-Lorette. Turning Arras from the north, they 
attempted to reach the Scarpe, in order to crush the division under 
General Fayolle. The situation was critical, but the 10th Corps held 
the enemy, whose efforts now began to weaken. 



In the Arras salient, the Alpine Division, exhausted and reduced 
to one-quarter of its full strength, was ordered to fall back upon a 
narrower front and to line up with the forces on the left and right. 
However, General Barbot refused to evacuate Arras, and the town 
was thus saved. 

In face of such obstinate resistance, the enemy suspended their 
efforts for two weeks, pending the arrival of their heavy artillery, 
with which to lay siege to the town. 

The bombardment began on October 21. In possession of the heights 
around the town, the Germans deluged the latter with shells. The 
huge llin. and Sin. shells crushed the city and its artistic treasures. 
The beautiful watch-tower fell down on the 22nd, and the fires spread 
to the suburbs. 

In the afternoon of the 22nd, under the eyes of the Kaiser, the Ger- 
mans attacked the ruins of St. Laurent, whose burning houses collapsed 
amid the shells. Chasseurs, reinforced by Zouaves and sappers, who 
had just detrained, made a desperate resistance. Attacks and counter- 
attacks succeeded one another amid an inferno of fire, smoke and ex- 
plosions. 

Still the Alpine Division held on, their heroism being rewarded the 
next day, when the town, hard pressed from the north-east, was re- 
lieved by six battalions of Senegalese troops, which had been rushed 
up to the rescue. Thus a second time, Arras escaped capture by the 
enemy. 

Unable to open up a way, the Germans turned their costly and 
unsuccessful efforts northwards, in front of Ypres and along the Yser. 

Both sides dug themselves in, in the clay soil of Artois, and the res- 
pective lines gradually became defined. These organisations were 
of a most rudimentary character. To lie under canvas, or a sheet of 
corrugated iron was the fortune of the privileged few. Under the ac- 
tion of the rain, the clay sides of the trenches fell in, filling the latter 
with deep, sticky mud. 

On both sides, the wire entanglements and chevaux-de-frise in- 
creased in depth. The Germans worked with great thoroughness, 
gradually transforming the villages into veritable fortresses, and 
hemming in the town with a formidable barrier. 

The 33rd Corps (P^tain) and the 21st Corps (Maistre) of the 10th Army 
(d'Urbal) were holding this sector {see sketch, p. 8), the 33rd Corps 
occupying the trenches between Arras and Ablain-St-Nazaire, and 
the 21st, the lines between this village and Calonnc Trench (1 km. 
north-west of Li6vin). 

The fighting was characterised by desultory gun and rifie fire, whilst 
occasionally, sharp fusillades spread like train? of ^powder along the 
lines, only to die down again. From time to time, daring raids 
were carried out under cover of the fog, but the main battle was being 
delivered in Flanders. 

In December, battalions of the 21st Corps attacked the northern 
and western outskirts of Carency, but after making some progress 
they were held by the enemy's concentrated machine-gun fire. Through- 
out the winter, this sector was the scene of mine warfare and raids. 

On March 15, the i53rd Infantry Regiment (21st Corps) made 
some progress along the northern edge of the Spur of Notre-Dame-de- 
Lorettc, as the result of a series of spirited assaults. 

This long, armed vigil in the mud, with its attendant local fighting, 
was, however, but the precursor of the coming great struggle of the 
Spring and Summer of lOl."!. 



THE FRENCH OFFENSIVES OF 1916. 
The attack of May-June — Conditions of tKie Attaclt. 



Taking in the villages of Carency and Ablain-St-Nazaire, the Ger- 
man lines formed a dangerous salient. The enemy held all the high 
ground : the Notre-Dame-de-Lorette Spur, Vimy Ridge and Monchy- 
le-Preux Hill. Thus dominated, Arras and the whole of the French lines 
were crushed beneath the fire of the German batteries, which were 
masked in the corons of Li^vin and Angres, and in the smah woods 
behind Vimy Ridge. 




Thb Qekman Lines around Arras 



9 

In the Spring of 1915, the French G. H. Q. decided to relieve the 
pressure on Arras by carrying the heights which dominate the town 
to the north and north-east. The possession of these natural obser- 
vation-posts and departure base would then enable the French, with 
the open plain of Lens and Douai stretching before them, to advance 
on those two important mining centres and railway junctions. 

General Foch, commanding the Army Group of the North, was in 
charge of this offensive. 

Under his direction, which adapted itself to the new tactical 
conditions of the battle, method took the place of improvisation. Each 
unit had its own special mission assigned to it ; the action of the artil- 
lery was clearly defined. 

The front of attack was so equipped that the assaulting troops 
found themselves in front of their objectives. (The plan of attack 
was so well contrived that it was used as a model for several later 
offensives). 

The means of action at the disposal of General Foch being limited, 
he decided to attack along a narrow front only (about six miles wide) 
from a point east of Roclincourt to the region of Notre-Dame- 
de-Lorette. In this zone were assembled powerful artillery and 
five army corps of veteran troops, including two of three divisions 
each. 

The 21st, 33rd, 20th, 17th and 10th Corps were echeloned from 
Arras to the slopes of Notre-Dame-de-Lorette, being supported on the 
north by the 9th Corps opposite Loos. 

The German positions, constantly consolidated since the fixing 
of the front line, were truly formidalile. Unbroken lines of trenches, 
redoubts and boyaux extended all along the slopes of the heights to 
be conquered, whilst at the foot of the latter, facing the first French 
lines, ran a series of powerfully organised strong points, consisting of 
villages transformed into fortresses (Ablain-St-Nazaire, Carency, 
Neuville-St-Vaast, etc.), and newly constructed centres of resistance 
like the Ouvrages Blancs and Labyrinth. 

The houses of each village were fortified and connected with one 
another, either by underground passages, from cellar to cellar, or by 
screneed paths. The cellars were propped and protected with armour, 
their vaulting being covered with a thick layer of concrete or sacks 
of earth. Loop-holes for machine-guns were pierced in the walls. The 
sub-basements of the enclosing walls, and the hedges, concealed 
trenches, which were protected by auxiliary defences (wire-entangle- 
ments, chevaux-de-frise, hedgehogs, etc). 

The fortifications, like the Labyrinth, consisted of networks of 
trenches and deep boyaux, with underground shelters armed with 
numerous machine-guns. These shelters intersected one another 
in all directions, forming an inextricable maze. A number of 
flanking works and deep lines of barbed-wire everywhere protected 
the approaches. 

However, these formidable defences in no wise dismayed the 
French. It was their first grand offensive, destined to carry them, 
they believed, within twenty-four hours, first to Douai, then to the 
frontier. At lasts they were to get out of the horrible trench mud, 
and under the May skies, fight their way in the open to Victory. 
Unbounded enthusiasm animated them, men and officers alike. 



10 



The Attack. 



On May 9, 1915, after a violent artillery preparation with 75's and 
155's, lasting several hours, the 10th Army attacked. 

In the centre, the advance was extremely rapid. Starting from 
Berthonval Wood, regiments of the 33rd Corps (P^tain) captured the 
Ouvrages Blancs and the Arras-Bethune road (N. 37), as far as the 
outskirts of Souchez, then scaled the slopes of Vimy Ridge, reaching 
the upper crest. The enemy were taken completely by surprise, and 
either surrendered or hastily retreated. 

The German front was virtually pierced. The panic spread as far 
as the suburbs of Lille, and the staff of the German IVth Army (Prince 
Rupprecht of Bavaria) began to remove their quarters. The advance 
here had exceeded the most sanguine expectations... Unfortunately, 
the attacking troops had gone forward too quickly in their excitement, 
and were now exhausted. Unprepared for this rapid advance (4 h 
kilometres in an hour), the French Commandment were unable to 

bring up the necessary 
reinforcements in time. 
Recovering from their sur- 
prise, the Germans rushed 
up their reserves in lorries 
and stopped the all too 
narrow gap in their 
lines. 

To the left and right 
of the central attack the 
advance was much slower, 
the enemy's resistance 
being extremely desperate. 

Although the German 
positions were deluged 
with hundreds of thous- 
ands of shells, the French 
were only able to conquer 
them by degrees, after 
bitterly disputed engage- 
ments lasting several 
tlays. 

On the left, the attack 
against the famous hill of 
Xotre - Dame -de - Lorette 
liad begun long before the 
offensive of May 1915 
[See p. 71, jor particulars 
of this action). In Decem- 
ber 1914, and again in 
March and April 1915, the 
21st Corps (Maistre) had 
successively captured the 
three spurs which flank 
the south and south- 
western edge of the 
massi/. 




The French Attack of May 1915. 

The advance was less rapid on the wings than in the Centre, 

thereby faeilUating the enemy's counter-attaeks. 



11 



In May, they finally succeeded in reaching the summit of the plateau, 
and on the 12th, after four days of the fiercest fighting, captured 
the chapel of Notre-Dame-de-Lorette, which formed the key of the 
entire position. However, it was only on May 22 that the Germans 
were finally driven from the south-western slopes of the hill. 

The capture of Carency was only completed on May 12, after having 
been entirely surrounded by General Fayolle's Division (33rd Corps). 

The northern part of Ablain-St-Nazaire was occupied only on May 29. 
On June 1, after three days of violent fighting, with varying fortune, 
the sugar refinery, situated half-way between Ablain and Souchez, 
was finally captured. During these three weeks of fighting (May 9 to 
June 1), General Fayolle's division took 3,100 prisoners and buried 
2,600 German dead, whilst their own losses in killed, missing and 
wounded, amounted only to 3,200. 

At Neuville-St-Vaast, the conquest of the northern part of the village 
was only completed on June 9, after desperate fighting in the streets 
and houses. In the Labyrinth, where a footin-g had been gained as 
early as May 9, the struggle continued uninterruptedly until the 
middle of June, on the 17th of which month the entire position was 
taken. 

By June 19, the offensive in Artois, begun on May 9, could be considered 
at an end. The fighting, although still very fierce, was merely intended 
to consolidate the conquered ground. It gradually degenerated into 
trench engagements, in which grenades and bombs played the main 
part. Through lack of reserves, and also 'owing to the narrowness 
of the front of attack, which did not allow of the | break-through being 
promptly and fully taken advantage of, the offensive did not give the 
expected results, the advance being only from two to four kilometres. 
On the other hand, to keep the debouching positions of the Northern 
Plain, the Germans J^had been^ forced to engage sixteen divisions 
(over 300,000 men), and had suffered much heavier losses than the 
French. They, moreover, lost some 8.000 unwoundcd jirisoners, 20 guns 
and about a hundred mnchiiip-LSuiis. 




A Great 1,e.\dei;. 
In Mny 191."), Ihe :V.\rd Corps, commandfd hi/ General PHain, -pierced the Gerninn Front. 



12 



^- Trench warfare, with all its attendant horrors, began again. The 
new lines were gradually consolidated in the shell-torn ground, the 
deep, foul mud of which swallowed up everything. Often, the trenches 
were mere ditches, whose sides were kept from falling in by thousands 
of sacks of earth. 

The first lines passed through hideous places : 

" Countless dead lay buried in the parapets of the trenches, dug in 
the thick of the battle during May. At every step, protruding 
through the wall, one saw here a hand or foot, there a tuft of hair 
or a piece of a tunic. Corpses on every hand... We were living 
among the dead. 

" They lay rotting on the bled between the trenches, in front of the 
trenches, in the shell-holes, behind the sand-bags, everywhere. In those 
hot summer days their stench filled the air, drawing myriads of large 
black and green flies which settled in swarms everywhere, on everything. 

" Yet in spite of the stench, the hot sun, the flies and the pitiless 
thirst, the men never flinched or allowed weariness or discouragement 
to get the better of them. The presence of these same dead, their 
comrades, steeled them to fight on, 

" Dark but great days these, a symbol to those who lived through 
them of the horror and grandeur of this siege warfare. " 

(Captain Humbert's "La Division Barbot". 

The Offensive of September 1915. 

In September 1915, a fresh attack was launched against the Artois 
front, in combination with an offensive which was timed to take place 
simultaneously in Champagne, and whose chief object was to relieve 
the Russian front, where the Austro-Germans, during the Spring 




BAKKlOADJi AT NECVILLE-SAINT-VAAST, in Mav li>16. 
This barricade separated the Allies' liries irom those of the enemy. 



13 




and Summer of 1915 had 
conquered Galiciaand Poland, 
and penetrated into Russia, 
as far as Brest-Litowsk. 

Tliis offensive, whicla was 
launched on the 25th, had 
been worlved out several 
months previously at General 
Headquarters, in accordance 
with the methods of attack 
used in Artois, but arranging 
for all gains to be fully 
exploited. 

The British, in liaison with 
the French 10 th Army, 
attacked the German tren- 
ches near Loos, in the direc- 
tion of Lens. The 10th Army, 
still under the orders of 
General d'Urbal, had for its 
obj ective the conquest of Vimy 
Ridge, that long spur which 
dominates the Plain of 
Douai. 

On September 25, at 12.30 
p. m., after an artillery prepa- 
ration lasting five days, the 
33rd. Corps, under General 
Fayolle, who had succeeded 
General P^tain, captured the 
German trenches protecting 
the western outskirts of 
Souchez, and after carrying 
the park and Chateau of 
Carleul, attacked the village. 
However, the enemy offered 
such a desperate resistance 
that Souchez was only conquered in its entirety on the following day. 

Other units, advancing simultaneously along the slopes of Vimy 
Ridge, carried three successive lines of trenches. On September 
27-28, after desperate fighting, they captured Hill 119, east of Souchez, 
and advancing as far as the orchards of La Folic Farm, reached Hill 140, 
i. e. the culminating point of the crest. However, important enemy 
reinforcements, brought up from Lille, Valenciennes and Douai, stayed 
further progress, whilst the countless heavy guns which accompanied 
them, pounded the entire battlefield with terrific shell fire. (Sec descrip- 
tion of the battle on p. 88). 

The attack was thus brought to a stand, and soon the enemy's 
massed counter-attacks compelled the French to abandon the con- 
quered ground on the Vimy Plateau. 2,600 prisoners, 9 guns, and a 
large number of machine-guns were captured by the French. 

Trench warfare began again in October, the Sin. shells and large 
calibre " Minen " churning up the clay soil, until the entire sector 
was one vast bog. The works which had been laboriously carried 



Franco-Biutish Attack in Aktois (September 1915.). 

While the British attacked to the north, towards Lens, 

the French objective teas Vimy Uidge. 



14 



out to protect the trenches from the encroaching mud, crumbled away 
under the bombardment. Further fighting became impossible during 
this, the " black period ", in the Artois Battle. 

There was no protecting one's self against the mud, that formidable 
insistent foe. 

In his book. La Division Barbot, Captain Humbert paints a striking 
picture of it : 

...Let us take a look at this Alpine Chasseur, about to go up a communi- 
cation trench. 

The lower part of his body, up to his waist, is covered with his blue 
overalls, into which he has tucked the flaps of his tunic, supposing he has 
not cut them off. His legs, up to the knees, are tied up in sand-bags. 
Another sand-bag covers his helmet, which, in the moonlight, would 
otherwise draw the enemy's fire. He does not carry any blanket, as it 
would quickly become soaked with mud, so as to be useless. His only com- 
fort is his tent cover which he has wrapped round his body. A bit of 
cloth is tied round the muzzle of his rifle, whilst the steel parts of the breech 
are protected with canvas, so that he may be ready to fire on reaching 
his post. 

Two bulky haversacks and a two-litre water-bottle slung over his shoul- 
ders, help still further to weigh him down, as he enters the trench. 

Sinking up to his knees, he tries to lift one leg out, but the heavy, 
sticky mud has closed over his foot. W hat is thereto hold on to? Both sides 
of tlie trench have fallen in, and his hands grasp mud. However, he 
succeeds in moving a leg, but the muscles of his hip have to work hard, 
and after advancing a few yards he stops e.tliausted to recover his breath. 
Then he starts again. The bombardment begins. The Sin. shells come 
with a roar, the torpedoes without a sound. What is he to do? Lie 
down ? he cannot, being stuck in the mud. Run, advance, retreat ? He 
could not move more slowlytthan he does. Take cover ? There is none 
whatever in the long, straight trench. He can only remain where he is, 
stuck fast in the mud ... 




Trenches in fkoxt of soichkz. 



15 



a^^.'^ir-//} 



THE BRITISH OFFENSIVES OF 1917. 
Relief of Arras. 

From October 1915 to April 1917, no important attacks took place 
in the Arras sector. 

The British extended their front line to the Sommc, and took over 
the whole of the Arras sector. 

In 1916, the Germans suffered two severe defeats, one before Ver- 
dun, and the other on 

the Somme. 

Compelled to remain on 
the defensive, they fell 
back on positions prepared 
beforehand (the Hinden- 
burg Line) from Arras to 
the north-east of Soissons. 

Avoiding the Allies' 
threatened offensive, they 
hoped to find greater 
safety in their new posi- 
tions, and retard the Allies' 
further offensives. Scarce- 
ly a month after their 
retreat of March, the Ger- 
mans were again attacked 
along an eighteen -mile 
front, in the Arras sector. 

The honour of com- 
pletely relieving the mar- 
tyred city of Arras was 
to fall to the British. 




THE British Attacks in Artois (April-May, 1917). 

(In liaison with the French Attacks on the 

Chemin des Dames and Moronvilliers Massif) . 



The Offensive of April 9. 

The Objectives. — By their offensive, in liaison with that of the 
French, on April 16, the British aimed at clearing Arras completely of 
the enemy, who were r^still holding Vimy Ridge and the immediate 
approaches to the town, and by advancing eastwards, they hoped to 
threaten the important railroad junction of Douai. 

Methods of Attack and Defence. — Putting to profit the experi- 
ence gained in the battles of 1916, before Verdun and on the Somme, 
both sides had improved their methods of attack and defence. 

The British had considerably increased the numbers of their guns 
(all calibres), tanks, scouting and bombing aeroplanes. The methods 
of attack with limited objective, tried on the Somme [See "The 
First Battle of the Somme"), had been improved, and were now 
more minutely and more powerfully prepared. Numerous instruction 
classes had been started, to thoroughly train both officers and men 
in the new methods of warfare. 

Compelled to remain on the defensive, the Germans, determined to 
prevent a break-through at all cost, had strengthened their positions 
with new lines of deeply echeloned defences, protected with wire 
entanglements and blockhouse in resinforced concrete. 



16 




The British attacks of April-May 1917, to relieve Arras. 



Between Arras and Douai, there existed in 1917. besides the old 
defences of 1914 and 1915, consisting of three lines of positions, three 
new positions, one of which was the famous Qu6ant-Drocourt line, 
known to the British as " The Switch ". Tqe whole formed the 
newly fortified zone generally referred to as the " Hindenburg Line ". 

In accordance with Von Below's instructions, the Germans had 



17 

improved their defensive tactics, by organizing tlieir reserves in view 
of immediate count er-attaclvs at given points, wlicre the assailants, after 
crossing the first positions, were laclcing in cohesion. 

Preparations for the Attack. — Throughout the winter of 1916 
gigantic equipment preparations and a powerful artillery concentra- 
tion were carried out along the British front of attack, from Lens to 
Croisilles. 

At Arras, in the eastern suburbs, where the opposing trenches 
touched one another, a veritable underground city was built and com- 
fortably lifted up. 

Two British Annies were echeloned between Loos and Croisilles : 
the 1st Army (Hornc), including the famous Canadian Corps, stretched 
from Loos to Neuville-St-Vaast ; the 3rd Army (Allcnby), from 
Neuville to Croisilles. 

In all, there were nineteen divisions in the line, and eleven in reserve, 
including three cavalry divisions. 

The whole of these troops had received a thorough training in mimic 
attacks against defences similar to those of th« enemy. 

The Attack. — A violent arlillery preparation and a fierce air- 
battlc preceded the attack. 

This formidable bombardment, effected in sudden, violent rufalcs, 
in the various sectors, lasted four days, and crushed the German 
positions under a deluge of shells of all calibres. 

The I3ritish airmen flew far behind the German lines, carrying out 
seventeen bombing raids against the stations, ammunition dumps, 
mustering-places, etc. In the many air duels, twenty-eight British 
and fifteen German ])lanes were brought down. Three other enemy 
machines fell down out of control, and several of their observation- 
balloons were set on lire. One thousand seven lunuU-ed photographs 
were taken before and during the attack. 

The attack was launched on April 9, at 5.30 a. m. The Canadians 
of the 1st Army dashed to the assault of Vimy Ridge, which had so far 
proved impregnable, and which for two years the Germans had. been 
fortifying incessantly. In a single rush they carried La Folic Farm 
and the hamlet of Les Tilleuls ; further south, they captured Hill 132 
— marked by the ruins of an old telegraph-station — and the village 
of Thelus, between Neuville and Farbus. 

On the northern spur, the Germans resisted desperately, but were driven 
back the next day. Violent enemy counter-attacks against the eastern 
edge of the spur were broken. The Canadians maintained all their 
positions on the crest, and captured the village and wood of Farbus. 

To the east of Arras, the advance on both sides of the Scarpe was 
still more rapid. The village of St-Laurent-Blangy, which prolongs 
the eastern suburbs of the town, was carried with fine dash. The 
British slipped along the Scarpe and the hollows of the neighbouring 
ground, 'fhe second German position, consisting of a strong net- 
work of trenches, connecting the villages of At hies and P>uchy, was 
carried the first day. Tilloy and Neuville- Vitasse were also occupied. 

In spite of the inundations from the Scarpe and the destroyed canal, 
and notwithstanding such formidable positions as the " Triangle ", 
" Telegraph Hill " and " Hyperabad Redoubt ", the (ith Corps advanced 
to a depth of five miles. 

By April 15, the two British Armies had captured 1-1,000 prisoners, 
19 guns, over a hundred trench mortars, some two hundred machine- 
guns, and an enormous quantity of war material of all kinds. 

2 



The Operations cf April-May {Map p. 16). 

After the brilliant results achieved during the first two days of 
their offensive, the British consolidated and improved their new posi- 
tions, by means of local operations. I^owerful counter-attacks directed 
against the eastern edge of Vimy Ridge were repulsed. From April 
12 to 15, Angres, Givenchy, Vimy, Villerval and Bailleul were captured. 

Whilst, in jMay, the investment of Lens was begun on the south, by 
the capture of Bucquet Mill and Lievin, the operations were extended to 
the north of the town. Starting from Loos, battalions of the 1st 
Corps carried the St. Pierre suburb, on the north side of the town.' 

Finally, south of the Scarpe, the British carried the fortified villages 
of Monchy-le-Preux, Roeux and Gueniappe which, since April 10, had 
successfully resisted all assaults. 

Arras was completely cleared of the enemy in May 1917, and the 
front-line remained fixed on the new positions until March 1918. 

THE GERMAN OFFENSIVES OF MARCH 1918. 

()n:March 21, Ger- 
many, having crush- 
eil Russia, began 
her western cam- 
])aign of 1918, which 
she expected would 
give her the final 
decision. Putting to 
profit the experience 
gained during more 
than three years of 
warfare, Luden- 

dorff attacked the 
British 3rd and 5th 
Armies along a very 
wide front, extend- 
ing from Croisilles 
to La Fere (50 miles), 
taking the fullest 
advantage of the 
factors of power and 
surprise: power, by 
immediately putting 
into line fifty divi- 
sions against the 
fourteen British di- 
visions; surprise, by 
carrying out the con- 
centration of all his 
forces in the greatest 
secrecy, by a tho- 
rough ecpiipment of 
the whole front, and 
by a short, violent 
The German offensive of m.\rch 1<.)18. artillery preparation 

North of Anas, it broke down at Vimy Ridge. To the south. with gas shells, 

the British fell hack slightly, in consequence of the retreat on WlllCh OVCrpowered 

Amiens and Montdidier. tll^' defenders. 




10 



Overwhelmed by numbers, Ihc lirilish wavered and broke some 
units fighting to the last man. The battle was carried into the open. 
Remnants of divisions tried in vain to stay the onrush of the constantly 
increasing numbers of the enemy. 
Their French comrades, hurriedly 
brought up in lorries, threw themselves 
into the battle, often without waiting 
for their full equipment. The Allies' 
resistance, which at lirsl lacked 
■cohesion, was co-ordinated in llie thick 
of the battle. Unity of command was 
created, and entrusted to Foch. 

Thirty-six miles from their base of 
departure, the German columns passed 
Montdidier and threatened Amiens, 
but their thrust eventually died down, 
and the defenders began to counter- 
attack. Finally, the enemy onrusli 
si)ent itself like a wave on the beach 
{Sec " The Second Battle oi- thic 

SOMME, 1918 "). 

In the Arras sector, the 3rd Army (Byng) resting antl. ipivoliug on 
its left, progressively followed tlie retreating 5th Army with its right. 
On March 28, the onrush of tlie enemy masses at Vimy Hidge and 
to the south-east of Arras was delinitely stayed by the liritisli. Nortli 
of Arras, the ground conquered in April 1917 was held. 

To the south, units of the 3rd Army fell back upon the 1-cuchy, 
Tilloy, Neuville-Vitasse line, where they held their ground. Tlie 
Arras "hinge" withstood all assaults, and tlie new front-line remained 
fixed until the end of August 1918. 

Drunk with their victories of ]\Iarch-.May, the Germans allemiited 
a final assault on the French front in Chanii)agne. This, their " Peace 
Offensive", failed. 




General Byso. 
{P/intn, Rui'sell. Loud on. 



THE ALLIES' LIBERTY OFFENSIVES. July-November 1918. 



Grouped under the command of a 
single chief who knew when and where 
to strike, and being further very 
powerfully equipped, the Allied Armies, 
by a series of carefully timed offen- 
sives, forced back the exhausted and 
demoralized enemy upon their old 
Ilindenburg Line positions. 

After the British advance of .\ugust 
8-12 {Sec " The Second Battle of 
the Somime 1918") the German linos 
formed a salient in the'-\rras sector. 

The British decided to attack, in 
order to turn the German positions 
on the Sonime, and cut off their rail 
communications to the south-west. 

These operations formed liio Second 
Battle of the Scarjie. 




Gexer.-vl Allenbv. 
{Photo, F. A. Swaine, London.) 



20 



The Second Battle of the Scarpe. 

In liaison, on tlie soutli, witli tlie left wing of Gen. Byng's Army, 
the Canadians of Gen. Home's Army attacked on both sides of the 
Scarpe. The powerful points of support of Roeux and Monchy-le- 
Prcux were carried on August 25. Advancing beyond these centres of 

resistance, the Can- 



(O'Tji^l^ 



adians followed up 
I heir success the 
next day by cap- 
turing Gavrelle 
and Vis-en-Artois, 
which brought 
them into contact 
with the formi- 
dable " Drocourt- 
Q u e a n t " line. 
This was broken 
through on Sep- 
tember 2, and the 
maze of trenches 
at the junction of 
this line with the 
Hindenburg sys- 
tem of defences was 
carried by storm, 
the enemy being 
forced to beat 
a hasty retreat 
along the whole 
front of theSomme. 
Arras was now detinitely cleared. ]\Iaintaining their pressure, the 

Allies next attacked the Hindenburg positions, capturing them one 

after another. Lens, in ruins, was conquered and passed on October 3. 

On the 12th, the British were at the gates of Douai. 

A month latei', the exhausted and demoralized enemy, assailed from 

all sides, sued for an Armistice. 




Arras. 
The Hotkl- 

DE-VlLLE. 

(June 30, 
1917). 




21 




Tira Grande Pi.ack in 1777. 

ARRAS. 

ORIGIN AND CHIEF HISTORICAL EVENTS. 

Of Roman oriiiiiii, Arras, in the clays of Julius Caesar, was a strong- 
hold defending the roads of invasion of Northern Gaul. The town 
was built on Baudimont Hill, to the east of the Crinchon, a small stream 
which runs through Arras. In the 3rd century, it took the name of 
a tribe which inhabited the district — the Atrcbalcs — of which Arras 
is a corru])tion. 

Christianity was preached there during the reign of Clovis, by 
Saint-Vaast, who created the diocese of Arras and was its first bishop. 

In remembrance of the saint, a large abbey, which soon became 
the most important in the entire region, was erected in the 7th century 
on the right bank of the Crinchon. Under the protection of this 
powerfid community, a new town gradually grew up around the mon- 
astery. Separated at a later date from the original agglomeration 
by a continuous line of fortifications, the new town was entirely dis- 
tinct from the old one. 

As early as the 11th century, the two places were quite independant 
of each other, being governed by different authorities, each having 
its own administration. That built on the site of the ancient Roman 
city, on Baudimont Hill, to tlie erst, formed the Cite of Arras, and 
was under the bishop's jurisdiction ; the other, to the west, consti- 
tuted the Ville proper, and was a dci^endcncy of the St. Vaast Abbey. 
The Villc grew steadily, fii-st around tie abbey, and later in the neigh- 
bourhood of the Hotel de Ville. The Cite, on the contrary, gradually 
declined until 1749, when it was incorporated in the Ville. 

Arras was only definitely annexed to the French Realm in 1659, 
by the Treaty of the Pyrenees. Until then, the Ville, as the capital of the 
County of Artois, successively belonged to the Counts of Flanders 
(850-1180), to the Counts of Artois (1180-1384), to the Dukes of Bur- 
gundy (1384-1492) and finally to the Kings of Spain (1492-1640). 

However, the kings of France frecpiently intervened in the affairs 
of Arras throughout this period, the Cite being always more or less 
subject to them. On the other hand, the Villc only acknowledged 
the authority of the successive owners of the County of Artois, on 
whom the Abbey of St. Vaast was dependent. Under the Counts 
of Flanders, the town was besieged four times by the kings of France 
ill the 9th and lOtli centuries. It was granled a Cominnnal Cliarta 
1»\ IMiiUpiu' Augustc in 119 1. 




The desolation of Arras during the War. 

In the foreground : The Hdtel de Ville, Belfry and Petite Place. 

In the hiick(jround : The Grande Place. Wire entanglements cross the squares. 



In till' 1 lib cenUiry, Arms was lorn by ])(i|)iilar sedition. Under 
llie Dul<es of Burgundy, and espeeially under IMiibppc-le-Bon, the 
town's world-renowned cloth and tapestry industries enjoyed a period 
of great prosperity. In 1412, Arras is said to have numbered 80,000 
inhabitants, i. e. three times its present population. In 1435, Charles 
VII signed tlie Treaty of Arras there, with Philii)pe-le-Bon, by whieh 
the Burgundians were released from the English Alliance. 

In 1477, at the death of Charles-le-Temeraire, Louis XI claimed 
the Artois by virtue of the local custom which conferred on him the 
right to administer the lands of Marie de Bourgogne, heiress to the 
county. The Cite of Arras promptly opened its gates to the Royal 
Army, but the Ville refused to surrender, and was only conquered in 
1479, after a long siege. The defenders erected a gibbet on the ram- 
]3arts, on which they hung the white-crossed banner of France and 
grotesque figures representing Louis XI, with the inscription : Veez-ci 
le roi bochu (This is the hunchback king). Elsewliere, they wrote this 
otlier inscri])lioii wliicli long remained famous : 

0/i/(/ it'Iu'ii mire calch eats 

Will the kiiKj be lord oj Arras. - 

A breach was finally made in the ramparts, and Louis XI entered 
the town. Furious at the people's resistance, he exiled all the inhabi- 
tants and peopled the town with newcomers from all parts of France. 

The name of Arras was changed to Franchise. A few months later, 
the people of Arras were allowed to return to their homes, and in 1483, 
on the accession of Charles VIII, the regent, Anne de Beaujeu, restored 
its ancient name, armorial healings and laws. 



23 







Arras. British Militauy Band playing in the Grande I'lace {April 
(Photo, Imperial TT'«r Museum). 



Remembering the Ireatment inllicled on Iheni by Lonis XI, the 
inhabitants of Arras long remained opposed to French domination. 
In 1492, they opened their gates to the German and Burgundian troops 
of Maximilian of Austria, husband of Marie de Bourgogne. However, 
they lived to regret the change, for as early as that time, the Germans 
were notorious for their excesses of all kinds. Pillaging was such 
that the German garrison had to be withdrawn in the following year. 
Everythinfi Ihei/ could laij their hands on, wrote a contemporary chro- 
nicler, was rifled and held to ransom, the immense quantities of utensils, 
rrockerif, jewelry and chains were such that their cojfcrs could not hold 
them. (J ■:'AV Molinet's Chronicles). 

Meanwhile, the Spanish remained masters of Arras, which only 
again came under the rule of the kings of France in 1640, when it fell 
after a long and lilood ,' siege. The bombardments caused great 
damage. According lo the diary of one, Gerard Robert, projectiles 
were daily hurled from the Cite into Arras, by " mortars " posted in 
different places. St. Vaast and its enclosure suffered especially. The 
vaulting of the nave of the church was pierced, the great da" age 
l)eing |)r()mptly repaired by order of the king. Fourteen missiles, 
some of them measuring lifly-two " panic " in circumference, fell on 
I ho dormitory and in oilier places. 

l'"ourteen years later (1654), the Prince de C.oiule with a Sjianish 
army 45,000 strong, invested Arras. 

The town held out heroically, and was delivered after a forty- 
five dav siege bv a relief force commanded bv Turenne (August 25, 
1654). 

.\rras lived through troublous times during the Revolution. In 



24 



1793, the Conventioner, Joseph Le Bon, sent there on amission, organ- 
ized tlie Terror. Tlie guillotine was permanently erected in the Place 
de la Comedie. The Terror was such that travellers would go ten lea- 
gues out of their way to avoid passing through Arras. If one were in the 
street, it was a conspiracy, a plot. The merchants ceased their business, 
and out of fear, attended the sittings of the Tribunal and Popular Society. 
(Trial of Joseph Le Bon). 

During the Franco-German War (1870-71), the Germans got as far as 
the gates of Arras, but did not enter the city. 

The following persons were born at Arras : Adam de la Halle, bard, 
and the pitiless conventioners Maximilian and Augustin Robespierre 
and Joseph Le Bon. who were guillotined at the fall of the Terror. 

The Boves — A local Curiosity. 



A large number of houses in Arras possess several stories of super- 
imposed cellars of very ancient origin, called " Boves ", which were 
formerly quarries of soft stone. 

Formerly, the first floor of the sub-basement was often littcd up 
as a tavern, ; dwelling, or workshop. 

Stone columns with capitals, sometimes I'ith or 13th century, 

sujjport the vaulting, 
which is either semi- 
circular or groined. 

^lany of these cellars 
still have chimneys, 
stoves, etc. 

Below this lirst sub- 
basement, one and some- 
times two more storeys 
of ' ' boves ' ■ were 
hollowed out of the 
limestone rock. These 
cellars have neither 
vaulting nor ck'coration, 
Ijut in some of them 
are pits, from which the 
stone, used in the cons- 
truction of the town, 
was extracted. 

" Boves " are to be 
found practically every- 
where in Arras, except in 
the low -lying quarters, 
where the Crinchon 
stream runs underground. 
The most remarkable 
are those which were 
made under the Grande 
Place (12th century), 

13th CENTURY HOUSE IN XHK UUANDKi-L..CK. No. 40,. \'"t^er thC old Hotcl 

The GaUe and Root or. ^h Ceniun,. f/"^ Rosettes and under 

On the gromiil-IIoor is seen the entrance to the cellurs the Place de la 1 reiec- 

or " bovos ". ture. 




25 



Since very early times, the " boves " have ranlced among the chief 
curiosities of Arras. 

In his description of the Low-Countries, Guichardin wrote several 
centuries ago : 

In all the houses there are finch] vaulted cai>es and eellars. These were 
purposely built wide and deep, so that in time of war whole families 
might find shelter there from the fury of the enemy's cannon. 

In the last century, another writer gave the following description : 
In Arras, most of the cellars are inhabited. The doors are always open, 
to the great risk of the passers-by, who fall in, if they pass too near the 
houses. The interiors are hideous, as there is no light but that which 
comes in through the door, and no air. There is only one miserable 
bed for the whole family. 

These underground cellars were used during the Great War. As in 
the bygone days of Guichardin, the inhabitants of Arras found in them 
a shelter "from the fury of the enemy's cannon". 

Arras during the Great War. 

The Germans occupied Arras only three days, entering the town on 
September 6, 1914 and being forced to withdraw on the 9th. 

The usual looting excepted, they did not commit any special 
acts of violence, but levied lieavv requisitions both in inonev and 
kin<l. 

Almost immetliately after liieir (lei)arlure, the " Martyrdom of 
Arras " began. The Germans remained at the very gates of the city, 
investing the latter from north to soutii al a very short distance from 
it. In places, they were scarcely four kilometres away. The ceme- 
tery situated in the suburb of St. Sauveur (behind the station) had to 
be organized defensively. Deej) trenches intersected it in all directions 
(photo below). 




TKESCHES in THK fF.METF.KY. 



26 



The siege lasted until April 1917, i.e. 31 iiioiiliis. 

The innumerable bombardments began on October G, 1914. On the 
6th, 7th and 8th of that month, over 1,000 shells fell in the town, the 
station and barracks of which only were occupied militarily. The 
gunners fired ceaselessly on the central quarters, the two famous squares, 
forming the finest monumental decoration of the town, being their 
principal targets. 

On October 7, the Hotel de Ville was burnt down, whilst a few 
days later, the Belfry was brought down by 69 shells. 

Afterwards, the bombardments slackened, yet every day, bombs 
reminded the inhabitants that the enemy were at the city gates. At 
times, the artillery fire would break out again, with great 
fury. For instance, on July 9, 1915, nearly 6,000 shells, most of them 
incendiary, burst in Arras, completing its ruin, and setting fire to the 
old Abbey of St. Vaast and to the Cathedral. 

Other equally violent bombardments took place in 1916 and in the 
first months of 1917. Until the offensive of April 1917, which cleared 
the town. Arras never experienced an hour's respite. 

At ,that time, 962 buildings had been completely destroyed, 
1,595 damaged beyond repair, and 1,735 badly hit, but capable of 
restoration. 

Out of the 4,521 houses forming the town (exclusive of the suburbs), 
only 292 escaped injury. 

The martyrdom of Arras was not yet, however, complete. In March 
1918, when the great German Offensive began, the bombardments 
broke out afresh, causing new ruins and bringing down those buildings 
which had until then escaped destruction. The last of the inhabi- 
tants, those who, in spite of all, had continued to cling to their homes, 
had to be evacuated. Five months later, at the end of August 1918, 
the British broke , through the.- German lines before Arras, and drove 
the enemv for good out of artillery range of the unfortunate city. 




After the Nictuky. 
The return "f the 33rrf Regiment of the line to Arras, in April 1919. 



27 



A VISIT TO ARRAS. 

From the Station to the Petite Plac« (See plan below 



Start from the Pi.aci; 
DE LA Gare. 

The Station, a large 
stone and brick build- 
ing, was erected in 1898 
on the site of the old 
fortifications. At the 
end of the war, it was 
in ruins and had to be 
almost entirely rebuilt. 

Take the Rue Gambetla, 
opposite the station. 

This street forms the 
beginning of the great 
artery which crossed 
the town from end-to- 
end, from the south- 
east lo the north-west, 
under the names of the 
Rue Gambetta, the Rue 
Ernestale, the Rue St. 
Aubert and the lUie 
Baudimont. 

The quarters of the 
old Ville to the north, 
should be visited first. 

To the south, lie 
those of the lower town, 
and of the ancient Cite 
{See p. :!2). 



Grande / / 



N \ A'^ /Grande / / 




Folhiir the roiiilf slioini hi/ Ihick lines. 




THK I'I.AC'E DE LA GARE. 

Ill the middle: The Rue Gambetta, in which the Ge.veral Post Office and the 
ruined tower of the Chapelle des URSULINES may be distinguished. 



28 




C'HAPELLE ))ES URSULIXES, before the W(ir. 

{Cliche LL.) 



the mutilated facade of the 
Church of John-the-Baptist 
[Photos p. 29). 

This, the niosl ancient chiircli 
in Arras, was destroyed by tlie 
shells. 

The vaulting and ui)]K'r 
portions of the pillars and 
walls have fallen down. Built 
in 1565-158 1 in the Golhic 
style, it comprised three naves 
and a choir terminating in a 
hemi-cyele. 

A high, massive stone towir 
was added in the ISth century. 

Under the Revolution, the 
Church of John-the-Baptist 
became a Temple of Reason. 

A miniature mountain of 
masonry was built in the 
interior, at the top of which 
was placed a Statue ot l.ihcilw 



Follow the Rue Gambetla and 
cross the Boulevard de Strasbourg. 
At the corner, on the left, is the 
General Post-Offici;, which 
was damaged by tlie shells 
{Photo p. 27). 

Further on, to the left, is the 
curious tower of the Chapelle 
DEs Ursulines (1862), an 
enlarged copy of the ancient 
Chapelle de la Sainte-Chan- 
UELLE which, until 1791, stood 
in the Petite Place (See p. 33). 
The tower consists of a square 
base surmounted by another 
square portion placed corner- 
wise on the first. 

A third octogonal story with 
a spire completed the building. 
The bombardments destroyed 
this story, w'hich had previously 
lost its spire in 1876, during a 
storm (Photos). 

Turn to the right (lUU ijurds 
be/ore the Chapelle des Ursuli- 
nes) into the Rue Ronville, then 
take the Rue St. Nicolas, which 
prolongs it. On the right, is 




i: DES UltSULIXES IN I'.llid. 



29 



Soon afterwards (iMessidor 
23, Year III of the Repu- 
blic), the Municipality had 
this "mountain" replaced 
by a pedestal, and ordered 
the red bonnets of the 
personages of the pictures 
in the tem])lc to be painted 
tricolour. 

The church of Jolin- 
the- Baptist contained 

some fine wood-work and 
two famous pictures : 77!t' 
Descent from the Cross, 
attributed to Rubens, and 
The Assiimi)tion, attribu- 
ted to Pliilippe de Cham- 
paigne. 

These works iuive been 
saved. 

Op]>usile the church, take 
the Rue de la Housse, 
leading to the Petite Place. 

Turn to the right, then 
licep straiglU on, via the 
Rue de la Taillerie (Photo 
p. 30) to tlie Grande 
Place, which visit. [See 
p. 31 ). 




KrE ST-NICULAS 

.\Ni) Church OK Johx-the-Baptist, in 1914. {Cliche LL). 



Return to the Petite Place, 1>!J the same way (See p. 33) 




llll, I'Al.Allh OK JollN-nil.-|.AIll>l CllUllOU i.V I'.U'J. 



30 



The Squares of Arras. 

The Grande and Petite Place of Arras formed an architectural 
ensemble unique in France. For centuries, private houses all having 
the same general arrangement, had bordered these squares. Monolithic 
columns of stone, adorned with Doric capitals, and linked up by 
elliptical arches, supported the vaulted gallery which ran round each 
of the two squares, and on which opened the entrances to the houses. 
The latter, which touched one another, were ornamented, above their 
two brick-and-stone stories, with irregular, voluted gables of varied 
outline, pierced with round or oval windows. 

The gables, further adorned with scroll-work, terminated in circular 
pediments. 

The Rue de la Taillerie (Pholo below), which connectetl the two 
squares, was bordered with houses in the same style. In all, there 
were three hundred and forty-five stone columns and one lumdred 
and fifty-five arcaded and gabled houses. 

These houses dated from the 12th and 13th centuries, the original 
constructions being of wood. IMassive beams supported the galleries 
and the wooden facades of the houses. The two squares were then 
known as the " Grand Marche " and " Petit Marche "'. The porticos 
gave shelter to the shop-keepers' stalls, the varied merchandise of 
which drew motley crowds of buyers. 

The basements at the back of the galleries, and lighted by the latter, 
served as dwellings, shops and factories. It was in these damp cellars 
that the stuffs and ta])estries of Arras, so highly rejjuted in the INliddle- 
Ages, were made. 

The bombardments of 1G40 and 1(;.34 demolisiied or severely damag- 
ed a large number of the liouses. The facades were rebuilt in stone, 
not as is commonly believed in the Spanish, but in the Flemish style. 

P)Oth the scpiares are now in r!iin.«. 




THE Kite de l.\ Tailleuie. 
Coniu-dinc/ up the Gi;.\xi)E and the Petite Place. Tli? Mter is seen in the y/Ai-/" 



31 




. , t * fW 










TUli L.KANHK I'l.M I l;l |n|;| I ||r W \1 

/(! //«<> hackgroun/i : The Bf.lfuy. 



The Grande Place. 



Seventy-five facades used to adorn the Grande IMace, whieh was 
formerly an orchard belonging to the Abbey of St. Vaast. The side 
facing east, has been almost entirely destroyed. The three other 
sides were less damaged. 

Almost all these houses dated from the 17th century, and long retained 
their picturesque names : Le Chapeau Amoiireux, La Grande Autruche, 
Le Vieil Tripot, L'Ange, L'Epe'e Roijale, Le Griffon Volant, La Grossc 
Tete, La Madeleine, La Fleur de Lys, la Briquc d'Or, etc. 








THK GRANDE Pl.ACE IN 1 '.M <). (.See above) 
The Bei.FKY has diacippeured. 



32 




t.«-J. 



.n. 






-*. 



i' 



I kt r^ f^ . ~ I** .'~~. '^ — ^ 



f 



W^ 




II- AN A.NeiKxT House in the Gkande Place. 



Many had old and curious signs carved in the stone-work, among others: 
Les Rosettes {No. 11), Le Chapeau Vnt (No. 59), La Cloche (Ko. 72), Le 
Mouton d' Argent (No. 5(i), Lc Ileaiimc (No. 4(5, l^th century), Le Chaii- 
dron (No. 32), Les Buns Amis (No. 8). 

The latter, dating from 1635, re]iresen(cd two men sliaking lianils 
near a forge. 

Several houses were earlier than the 17th century. The oldest — 
No. 49 — with a double gable having a 16th century turret, dated back 
to the 13th century. It escaped uninjured {Photo p. 24.) 

Most of the houses were built over several superim])osed cellars 
or " boves " dating from the ]Middle-Ages {See p. 24). The most in- 
teresting " boves " are those underneath the ancient hotels " des Ro- 
settes" (No. 17) (12th century) and "rfu Heaume" (No. 46). These two 
houses were formerly famous hostelries. In the 15tli century, the 
knights who were invited by the Dukes of Burgundy to take part in 
the tournaments and jousting in the Grande Place, used to stay 
til ere. 

The Grande I'lace was both a place of public amusement and an 
important market for corn and cattle, being in the 19th century the 
most important in the whole region. The entire population of Arras 
and the outlying districts used to meet there on Saturdays and fair- 
days. The market extended as far as the Petite Place, when both 
squares would be covered with a multitude of white or green tents, 
in which were the stalls of the merchants. Here the people of the town 
and neighbouring villages would throng together, bargaining, exchang- 
ing news and discussing local politics. The animation reached its 
highest ])itch in the drinking booths. 

" Here the proph met toi/iihcr to seal bargains, sirengtlxen old friend- 
ships and ruin their stomachs with corrosive liquors {'' bistouilles ") or 
Arras beer." {C. Enl-irt's "Arras avant la Guerre"). Then, when all 
was quiet, pigeons would settle in thousands on the ground and pick 
up the scattered grain. 



33 



The Petite Place. 



The houses in the Rue de la Taillerie, which connects the Grande with 
tlielJPetite Place, have suffered less. There is a fine Renaissance fa- 
cade in the yard of No. 15. 

The Petite Place was bordered, on the west, by the Hotel de Ville 
above which rose the graceful silhouette of the Belfry. On the 
other three sides were 52 arcaded and gabled houses, 21 of which 
were completely destroyed. 

The Petite Place was long the centre of the town. The people 
used to gather there, in front of the Hotel de Ville, for pul)lic meetings, 
festivals, and also for public executions. 

The undermentioned buildings, destroyed in the 18lh century or 
during the Revolution, formerly stood in the square. 

To the east, opposite the Hotel de Ville, a massive fortress with 
turrets, erected in the reign of Philippe-le-Bon, Duke of Burgundy, and 
known as the " Maison Rouge ", either because it was built of brick, 
or on account of the executions which took place in front of it. It 
was first designed as a check on the bellicose tendencies of the citizens 
of Arras, being later used as a "Bourse" or banking-house. It was pulled 
down in 1757. 

In the centre, stood the Chapelle du Saint-Cierge, in which the 
" Holy Candle " of Arras was kept (see p. 56). Erected in the Petite 
Place, at the beginning of the 13th century, by the Brotherhood of 
Notre-Dame-des-Ardents, it was rebuilt several times in the course 
of the succeeding centuries, and notably after the bombardments of 
1640. It was surmounted by a Gothic tower, the primitive arrange- 
ment of which was reproduced in the spire of the Chapelle des Ursu- 
lines (see p. 28). 







i'\n\\\ir rnni^?iii|||, 'III 




The Petite Place ix 1773. (Draiving by J. V. David), 
in the centre : The Chapelle dtj St-Cierge, where the " Holy Candle " was kept (tee p. 56). 



34 








Thk Rue iif/^ Balancf.s. 



General View of the Rrrxs of the 



Near the entrance to the Rue, St. G6ry, stood a 
with an iron collar, to which criminals were attached. 

As in 



stone cross 




The Rtjins of the Hotel de Ville and Belfey. 

The Rue Vinocq. — On the rigid, in the background 

The Petite Place. 



the Grande 
l^lace, each house in 
the Petite Place had its 
own name, in the 17th 
century. 

Among others were : 
La Rose, Le Soleil d'Or, 
L'Asne Ray 4, L'Es- 
pingle d' Argent, La Grap- 
pa d'Or, Les Louchettes, 
Le Pastoureau, Le 
Haubert, Le Dragon, 
etc. 

Numerous carved 
signs had kept alive 
these old names, the 
most curious being : Le 
Limagon (No. 7, late 
15th century), Le Bar 
d'Or (No. 8), Les Trois 
Coqs or Coqiielels (No. 9), 
La Sirinc (No. 11), whose 
escutcheon represented 
the sea, with ships, and 
a mermaid looking in a 
hand mirror), L'Amiral 
(No. 15) representing a 
man, telescope in hand, 
looking at the sea, and 
a vessel tossed by the 
waves. La Licorne d'Or 
(No. 23), La Harpe (No. 
42) depicting a harp 



35 




ItUllll 



WWB^ii-:; 



Petite Place, Hotel de Ville, and Belfry. 




The Rue de la Taillerie. 



entwined with leaves and fruit, Le Pcignc d'Or (No. 52), La Baleine 
(No. 64), etc. 

The ruins of the Hotel de Ville are on the west side of the Petite 
Place, on which the oldest and most beautiful facade stood. 

Take the Rue dc la Bradcrie, which, after skirting the right wing of 
the building (Photo, p. 39), leads to the Place de la Vacquerie. 

The rear fagade of the Hotel de Ville overlooked this square 
(Photo p. 40). 




The Petite Place, before the War. iClicln' LL). 



36 



The Town-Hall and Belfry. 

Although, throughout the Middle-Ages, Arras was a powerful com- 
mune, invested with administrative, legislative and legal powers, it 
had no Maison Commune or Hotel de Ville until the end of the 16th 
century. 

Until that time, the municipal magistrates, mayor and sheriffs 
met together in a small room in the Rue St. G6ry, to draw up the ordi- 
nances relating to the local militia, taxes, etc., and to administer jus- 
tice. The bancloque, i. e. the bell used for proclamations and to call 
together the burghers or representatives of the commune, was installed 
in the tower of the Church of St. G6ry. 

In 1463, the sheriffs decided to erect a belfry in the Petite Place, 
as a symbol of their communal liberties. The work was interrupted 
during the agitations which prevailed in Arras towards the end of the 
15th century, and it was only in 1499 that the tower was completed, 
in accordance with the original plans. Later (1551) the Belfry was 
raised and crowned in the style of the Flemish belfry of Audenaerde. 
Meanwhile, by virtue of a decision of the town's burghers in 1501, a 
fine Hotel de Ville. overlooking the Petite Place, had been built in front 
of the Belfry, to replace the Sheriffs' Hall in the Rue St. G^ry, which 
was then falling into ruin. 

The Hotel de Ville (1501-1517), Gothic-Flamboyant in style, pre- 
sented the same general arrangement as that of St. Quentin, the 
fafade of which was completed in 1509. 

The ground-floor formed an ogive-vaulted gallery opening on 
the Petite Place, with seven arcades of unequal width supported 
by octagonal columns of stone. Between the arcades, surmounted 
with archivolts and ornamented with finely carved foliage, a number 
of small niches with brackets and sculptured canopies were hollow- 
ed out. 

The high fagade of the first story, which terminated by a balustrade 
with flamboyant ornamentation, was pierced with eight drop- 
arched mullioned windows, with niches in between. Above the 
windows, between the ends of the crowning arches, which were also 
richly ornamented with fine foliate carving, opened seven round 
windows. 

Lastly, came the high steep roof pierced with three rows of small 
dormer-windows with lead ornamentation and gilded weathercocks. 

In the 16th century, a small covered platform or " breteche " was 
built in the middle of the first story, from which the magistrates took 
the oath, addressed the people, and caused the municipal by-laws 
to be read out. The ])latform was removed in the 18th century, and 
replaced by an eighth window with a balustraded balcony. 

On each side of the facade was a Renaissance pavilion, set somewhat 
back. That on the right was modern, whilst the left-hand one dated 
from 1572. 

The main building was 16th century and comprised a ground-floor 
and two stories lighted by windows with stone mullions. The windows 
were separated by twin columns, the style differing with each storey. 
Above this richly decorated entablature, three highly ornamented 
dormer-windows opened out at the base of the roof. A curious exter- 
ior staircase, surmounted with a small cupola, gave access in the 16th 
century to the pavilion. It was pulled down in the 18th century. 



37 




The Hotel de Vii.le and liKi.KKY before the Wah. 
The Facade in the Petite Place. Compare rcitli photo, p. 38. 



The H6tel-de-Ville was considerably enlarged under the Second 
Empire, by the addition of a wing in the Rue de la Braderie and the over 
decorated Renaissance rear facade overlooking the Place de la Vacquerie. 

The Hotel de Ville was destroyed by the German guns early in 
October 1914. The facade in the Petite Place, including the Renais- 
sance Pavilion, no longer exists. The other three fa?ades were reduced 
to shapeless ruins with, here and tliere, fragments of architecture 
and ornamentation. 



38 








rili.^liLLHiV, si.i.N iKiiM Tin; I'l.iin; I'lai i:. (Compare n-illi /</.' 



The Belfry. 



Abutting on the rear facade of the Maison Commune, there was a 
lofty graceful Belfry, — the pride of Arras. 

It was destroyed a few days after the Hotel de Ville. 



30 




i'HE KmXb 01 THE HdTJ L-TU -\ ILLE. 

The corner of the Rue de In Hradene and the Place de la Vacquerie. In the backgrovnd : 

THE I'ETITE I'l.ACF, 



On OcLobcr 21, 1914, afLcr being sUuck by 69 shells, it collapsed 
Only the stone basement remains, suiroiuuled by debris. 

The Belfry of Arras was the highest in France. A staircase of 
365 steps led to the top. It was inaugurated in 1554. 

\\\ ancient inscription in the Watch Tower reads : 
L'un mil cincq cens cinqnante quatre 
Par un second jour dr juillet, 
Jehan Delamolle et Pierre Goulattre 
Fircnl en ce lieu le premier glniet. 

(In the ijear 1554, on the second day of July, Jehan Delamolle and 
Pierre Goulattre kept their first watch here.). 

From that time forward, a bell was rung, each morning and evening 
at the opening and closing of the city gates. Immediately afterwards, 
a bugler and liiree Jiautboy-players, paid by the town, played an air 
of music. 

The watchmen rang the bell not only to announce sunrise and curfew, 
but also to warn the people when danger threatened the town, to call 
the burghers to the assemblies, and on the occasion of all important 
events, e.g. triumphal entries into Arras, festivals, public rejoicings, etc... 

For these different occasions, Arras possessed a whole series of bells : 

The " Alarme ", " Effroy ", or " Sang " bell, dating from 1433, and 
cast in bronze. Flat shaped, it was hung in the stone crown of the belfry. 

The " Retraitc " or " Couvre-feu " bell, dating from 1483. 

The " Guet " oi- " R^p^tition " bell, dating from 1682, and lastly 



40 




The Hotel de Ville and Belfry in 1920. 

The Facade in the Place de la Vacquerie. On the rijlil : The Rue Vinocq ; 

On the left : The Rue lie la Rraderie. Compare with photo, p. 41 . 



the " Ban " or " Bancloque " bell weighing about nine tons. It was 
cracked in 1464, during the festivals held in honour of Louis XI's stay 
in Arras. It was re-cast a first time, then again in 1728, when it was 
christened " Joyeuse ", being used principally on days of public rejoic- 
ing. Not to endanger the tower, the bell had not been rung for many 
years prior to the War. 

Fragments of the bells were found buried under the ruins of the 
Hotel de Ville. 

The Belfry was twice rebuilt. To the square base begun in 1463 
and completed towards the end of the 15th century, were added three 
octagonal stories in 1551. The entire edifice was in the Gothic style. 

The square base was supported at each corner by two buttresses 
terminating in crocketed pinnacles. On each front opened two drop- 
arched bays over a double row of blind arcading. 

About 150 feet from the ground, an opfen-work gallery ran round 
this square tower concealing the octagonal base of the upper stories 
erected in 1551-1554 by the master-mason Jacques Le Caron de Mar- 
chiennes. A native of Vaux-les-Bapaume, he is described in a commem- 
orative tablet, put up at the time the tower was completed, as a 
master in this art, and of great renown. 

The first story of the upper portion of the belfry was stayed by 
small flying-buttresses supported by piers, surmounted with sculptured 
pinnacles. On each side was a dial of the clock, which was thus visi- 
ble from every quarter of the town. 

Above a second open-work gallery, rose the narrower second story 



41 




The H6TKL 1)K VII.LE AND BELFEY. THE FACADE IN THE FLACE DE LA VaCQUERIE. 

Compare with photo, page 40. 



surrounded by eight piers witli flying buttresses, behind wiiich opened 
eight small bays provided with sound-reflectors. The bell-chamber, 
containing a peal of 24 small bells, was installed here. The third and 
still narrower story was supported by another open-work gallery. 
Inside, was the small room in which the city watchmen used to keep 
watch. A ducal crown formed the roof of this room, being itself sur- 
mounted by a heraldic lion of bronze which, 244 feet above I he ground, 
held I lie unfolded banner of Arras. 



\2 



From the Petite Place 

to the Cathedral. 

Continue to visit the 
town, leaving the Place de 
la Vacquerie, behind the 
Hotel de Ville. 

The houses in the Square 
were very severely damaged 
by the bombardments, espe- 
cially on the south side, 
where many of them were 
completely razed. Skirt this 
devasted area, following the 
Rue des G rands -Vieziers 
and then the Rue des Re col- 
lets, which branches off to 
the left. 

The latter street leads to 
the Rue St. Gery, which take 
to the right. Before turning 
notice one of the facades 
of the Palais de Justice 
{photo below), situated on 
I he right of the Rue Le- 
grelle, which prolongs the 
Rue des R6collets. The main building faces the Rue St. Gery, which the 
tourist now takes. The Palais de Justice escaped practically undamaged. 
Erected in 1724. on the site of the house which, until the completion 
of the Hotel de Ville, was used as the Sheriff's Hall by the burghers 
of Arras, this fine building was formerly the ancient " hotel " of 
the States of Artois. 

Underneath the Palais de Justice is a large 13th century cellar, 




Follow the roads shown by thick lines. 



Ik 




-- /-_r;^-t 



I'lTE Palais de .Tustick. Thk Facadh in thk IUtk LK(ii;K,i,i,i: 



13 



measuring 55 feel by 24 
feet, with ogival vaulting 
resting on stone columns. 
r- Keep along the Rue SI. 
Gery, which ends at the point 
where the Rue Erneslale 
prolongs the Rue Gambelta. 

Turn to the right into the 
Rue Ernestale, which leads 
to the Petite Place du 
Theatre, on the right. 

It was in tliis square, 
then called the Place tie la 
Comedie, that the guillo- 
line was installed, during 
I lie Terror. From one of 
the theatre balconies, the 
Pro-Consul Joseph Le Bon 
and his wife applauded 
the executions, in number 
more than five hundred. 

The theatre, dating from 
the end of the 18th cen- 
tury, was of no particular 
interest. 

In the square, the Mai- 
son DES POISSONNIERS, 

which escaped damage, 
lias a curious 17th cen- 
tury facade, greatly dis- 
figured, however, by later restorations. Built in the same style 
facades in thj Petite and Grinde Places, the ancient covered 




Maisox DES PoiSSOXNiERS, in the PUxce du TMdtre, 



as the 
gallery 




The PAL.US ST. Vaast. 
The Principal Entrance in the Place de la Madeleine. 



44 




The Palais St. Vaast and the Cathedral, before the War. 

on the ground-floor wns replaced by a shop. It is decorated with carv- 
ings representing a Triton and two mermaids. On the gable, rebuilt 
in the 19th century and terminating in a circular pediment, two 
other mermaids, arranged as consoles, on either side of the window, 
replaced two seated statues symbolising the rivers Crinchon and Scarpe. 

The Rue des Rapporteurs {at No. 5 in which Robespierre was born), 
opposite the theatre, leads to the Place de la Madeleine. 

The Palais St.-Vaast has its main entrance in this square. 



The Ancient Abbey or Palais St. Vaast. 

The old Abbey of St. Vaast was founded in 687 by Bishop St. 
Aubert in commemoration of St. Vaast, who was the first to preach 
Christianity in Arras. 

Thanks to the favour and liberality of King Thierry III, it prosper- 
ed rapidly. Destroyed by the Normans in the 9th century, it was 
later burnt down on three different occasions, only to rise again from 
its ruins. Under Spanish rule, it became the most important rehgious 
community in the Low Countries. 

In the Middle Ages, the Monastery, then under Benedictine rule, 
comprised an agglomeration of buildings, which grew in proportion 
as the Abbey's prosperity increased. However, with the exception 
of its Gothic Church, the Monastery was of no special architectural 
interest. 

The place fell into ruin and was demolished in 1746. Rebuilding 
was begun in 1754, but the new Abbey was scarcely completed (1784) 
when the Revolution broke out, and the building was taken over for 
lay purposes. 

The Palais St. Vaast is about 720 feet long and 260 feel wide. 



45 




The Palais St. Vaast and the Cathedral in 1919. 



In the 19th century, the J31shop's apartments, the Grand Seminary 
of Arras, the Museum, the Municipal Library and the Offices of the 
County Archives were all housed in its vast premises. 

During the War it was wilfully and methodically burnt by the 
Germans. Although the old monastery served no military purpose, 
the Germans bombarded it with great violence on July 6, 1915, the 
incendiary shells setting fire to the Museum, Library and Archives. 
Whilst the Palace was burning, the Germans encircled it with a barrage 
of artillery fire, making all attempts to fight the flames futile. 

Today, nothing remains but the charred walls of the outer and inner 
facades, which were of such massive construction as to resist the action 
both of the shells and fire. 

The Abbey was built in the stiff academic style of the 18th century. 

The main entrance, decorated with statues of Religion and Science, 
is in the Place de la Madeleine (Photo, p. 43). Through it is reached 
the Court of Honour, surrounded with two-storied buildings arranged in 
a semi-circle. 

Behind the Court of Honour are two other courts surrounded by 
buildings more or less in ruins. The first is square in shape, the second 
rectangular, and bordered with vaulted cloisters of fine proportions. 
These were formerly the Great and Small Cloisters of the Abbey, and 
now bear numerous traces of the bombardments. 

At the end of the Great Cloister, a vaulted peristyle of imposing 
appearance, supported by two rows of Ionic columns [photo, p. 48), 
leads to the south transept of the old Abbey church, which, in the 
19th century, became the Cathedral of Arras. This church was also 
ruined by fire and shells. 

Inside the old Abbey were to be seen; the monks' refectory, with 



4G 




JIS 



The Museum during the War. 
The works of art were removed to the cellars, the latter being protected and consolidated. 

its six high windows, finely carved wood panelling, and a great red 
marble fireplace over seven feet high and nearly fifteen feet wide ; 
the library, a spacious hall about 160 feet long and two stories high ; 
fine ceilings, staircases and ornamental wrought-iron and woodwork. 

Underneath the buildings are roomy cellars with groined vaulting. 
It was here that the art treasures of Arras were stored during the War 
(photo above). The left (west) wing of the Palais St. Vaast contained 
the county archives, library and museum, before the War. 

The archives were both numerous and valuable, and included a very 
complete collection of charters, known as the Trisor des Charles d'Ar- 
tois (13th and 14th centuries!, also numerous documents from the 
Abbey of St. Vaast (V^dastine), and from other ancient and important 
abbeys in the district. 

The library contained about 40,000 volumes and 1,100 MSS. Some 
Illuminated i\ISS, both liturgical and secular, dating from various 
periods, were of especial interest, as were also numerous genealogical 
collections belonging to the 18th century. 

The archives and library were partly destroyed by fire in July 1915. 
However, most of the MSS and the more valuable books and docu- 
ments were removed to a place of safety,' either before the fire, or 
while the Palais was still burning. 



The Museum. 

The collections of the Museum, which included an interesting 
archaeological section and numerous picture galleries, suffered consider- 
able damage, but the principal works of art were saved. 

The archaeological gallery included the following noteworthy col- 
lections : Series of antiques, especially some Merovingian jewels, the 



■17 




Tombstone of Guillaume-le-Fraxcois [ioth Century). 



tomb of Bishop Frumaud, decorated with mosaic (1183) ; several other 
carved tombstones, especially that of Guillaume-le- Francois (15th cen- 
tury), on which is the figure of a decomposed body of striking rea- 
lism {photo above); a fine 14th century marble head of a woman [photo 
below) ; numerous fragments of architecture and sculpture, taken 
from the ancient cathedral of Arras, and including some fine 12th or 
13th century capitals. 

Part ot the galleries of the lajiidary museum were buried under 
a heap of rubbish several yards deep, caused by the bombardments. 
Many ancient pieces of sculpture were recovered practically intact, 
when the debris were cleared away. 

The picture galleries contained some valuable paintings, belonging 
mostly to the 16th century (Flemish School), 17th century, and mod- 
ern schools. 



The Museum further contained 
rooms reserved exclusively for 
the works of local artists ; the 
" Arrageoise " room, dedicated 
to local history (plan in relief 
of Arras, made in 1715, from 
an original design in the 
Mus6e des Invalides, Paris ; 
plans of the town at various 
periods ; a series of pictures 
touching the story of the " Holy 
Candle " ; fine old tapestries 
and lace of local manufacture ; 
ceramic, numismatic and 
natural history collections, etc. 

After visiting the ruins nj 
the Palais St. Vaast, return to 
the Place dc la Madeleine. 

To the right of the Palais, tal<e 
the Rue des Mnrs-St. Vaast, at the 



a t^'allcry of drawings, and several 




Woman's Heau iiuh (Jeitiary) 



48 




The Palais St. Vaast. 
The Peristyle of the Grand Cloister leading to the Cathedral. 



end of which, iiirn left into the Rue Meaiilens. The fagade of the 
north transept of the cathedral, in front of the ruins of which the 
tourist passes (see drawing, p. 49), stood in this street. The Rus Meaulens 
was amongst those which suffered most from the bombardments. 

Turn into the Rue des Teinturiers [first on tlie left), which skirts tlie 
main fagade of the Cathedral {see map, p. 42). 



49 




General View of the Cathedral. 



The Cathedral. 

The beautiful original Gothic Cathedral of Arras, erected in the 12th 
and 13th centuries, having been 
first sold as national property, 
then pulled down during the 
Revolution, the church of St. 
Vaast Abbey became the 
Mother-Church in the 19th 
century. 

The new cathedral, now en- 
tirely in ruins, was a very large 
building, the erection of which 
was begun in 1755 from plans 
by^Coutant d'lvry, the archi- 
tect who, later, built the 
Church of La Madeleine in 
Paris. The work was interrupt- 
ed during the Revolution, 
then resumed by virtue of a 
municipal decree dated "Nivose 
27, Year XII ", which ran: 
" ...to erect the edifice, aban- 
doning everything in the original 
plans connected with decora- 
tion and architectural beauty, 
limiting the work to the require- 
ments of solidity and decency." 
The church was finished in ac- 
cordance with these prescrip- 

tions, being completed in 1834. ''""^ .Collapse of the North Transept. 

r,,, ■ i • • , Draunng bi/ A. Venire, cmef architect to the 

I he mterior was of plaster- Historical Monuments Department. 




50 




The Ixterior of the Cathedral, 



coated brickwork, whilst tlie columns were of undressed stone, covered 
witli stone-coloured mortar. The capitals were of stucco-work. 

Built in the shape of a Latin cross, the Church measured 330 feet 
in length, 86 feet in width and 106 feet in height. It comprised a great 
four-bayed nave with side-aisles, a wide double transept, a two-bayed 
choir, and an apse with ambulatory, off which opened seven chapels. 

The main (west) fafade has retained its principal lines. In front is 
a flight of 48 stone steps, with four landings, the three entrance-doors 
being almost on a level with the roofs of the surrounding houses. Built 
in the style of the Jesuits, it comprises two superimposed stories, one 
with eight, the other with four composite capitaled columns, the whole 
terminating in a triangular pediment. 

Today, the cathedral forms one of the most impressive ruins of the 
war. As previously seen, from the Rue Mdaulens, the facade of the 
north transept was entirely destroyed. One of the lateral bays of this 
transept, completely isolated, is still standing by a sheer miracle, with- 
out any support or vaulting (photo p. 49). The roof and framework 
of the entire building fell down after the fire of July 1915. 



51 




16th Centuey Triptych : The MraACLE of the Holy Candle {See p. 56). 
In the centre is seen the ancient Gothic Cathedral. 

In the great nave, transept and choir, the semi-circular vaulting 
also collapsed. On the other hand, most of the columns with Corin- 
thian capitals are still standing, either alone, or supporting the frag- 
ments of vaulting which still cover the side-aisles. 




16th Oentuky Tkiptvch ; Xhk Ckucifixion. 



52 



15th Century 
Head of Christ, 
in carved wood. 




The great absidal chapel, or Chapel of the Virgin, is the least damaged 
part of the Cathedral. It is covered with a cupola, ornamented with 
frescoes. The latter, similar in design to those in the Capella Bor- 
ghese of the Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome, represent The Glorifica- 
tion of the Virgin. 

The Cathedral contained a number of interesting art treasures, 
which were fortunately saved. Among them are : 

Two triptychs of the Flemish School of the 16th century, 
painted by Jehan Bellegambe of Douai, one representing " Christ and his 
executioners" {photo; p. 51), the other, " Worshipping the Child Jesus " ; 
another 16th century triptych : " The Miracle of the Holy Candle 
of Arras ", with an interesting view of the ancient Gothic Cathedral 
{photo p. 51); a painting attributed to Rubens : " The Descent from the 
Cross '■ ; two paintings attributed to Van Dyck : " The Entombment " 
and " The Death of Christ " ; a painting attributed to Rib^ra : " The Vir- 
gin, and Donors " ; a painting by Van Thulden : " T/ie Invocation of St. 
Bernard" ; two other paintings of the 16th century Flemish School: 
"The Martyrdom of St Ursula and the 11,000 Virgins " and ''Christ, 
the Victor " ; a fine 15th century " Head of Christ Crucified", in carved 
oak, taken from an old " calvary " at Arras {photo above) ; a small 
bas-relief in chased and gilt copper, dating from the end of the 16th 
century : " The Legend of St. Eloi " ; a statue of " The Virgin ", by 
Cortot (1843) ; tombstone and statue of Philippe Coverel, Abbot of St. 
Vaast, who died in 16.36 ; 17th century marble statues of Philippe de 
Tarcy, Governor of Arras, and his wife, etc. 

The Treasure included fragments of the heads of St. James the 
Greater and St. L^ger, the bodies of St. Vaast and Saints Ranulphe 
and Radulphe, and the blood-stained surplice worn by Thomas a Becket 
at the time of his assassination. 



53 




From the^Cathedral to the Prefecture. 
Follow the roads shown by thick lines. 

After visiting the Cathedral, take the Rue des Teinturiers and the Rue des 
Agaches to the main thoroughfare of Arras, which at that point is 
called the Rue St. Aubert. The tourist soon reaches the small Place du 
Wetz-d' Amain, on the right of which are the spacious buildings of 
the St. John's Hospital. 

The foundation of this hospital goes back to the time wlien Arras 
belonged to the Counts of Flanders. It was entirely rebuilt in the 19th 
century. During the early bombardments, it was struck byj^several 
shells, several of the inmates and nurses being among the victims. 

At the opposite end of the Place du Wetz-d' Amain, are the remains of the 
ancient Hotel de Chaulnes, a turretted fortress built in the Middle 
Ages, and enlarged and considerably modified in the 16th century. 




The St. Joh.\ Hospital. One of the Waui' 



54 




Baudimont oatk. 



During the wars of the 15th century, this ancient fortress, with its 
thick walls and vaulting, was used by the Abbots of Mont St. Eloi as 
a refuge for the monks of their brotherhood. With the exception of 
the roof, these ruins suffered little damage from the German guns. 

The Rue St. Auberl ends ai the small Terrie-de-Cite square, so called 
because it was built on the site of the old city ramparts. In it is a 
Fountain of Neptune. The Rue' Baudimont prolongs the Rue St. Aubert, 
beyond the Place Terrde-de-Cite, and ends 500 yards further on at the 
Baudimont Gate. Rebuilt in 1863, it was the only gate remaining of the 
seven which formerly gave access to the fortified city {photo above). 
'' Keep along the Rue Baudimont as far as the Place de la Prefecture, on the 
left. This square, situated on the top of the hill, occupied the site 
of the mediaeval Citd, i. e. of that part of Arras which was placed 
under the Bishop's authority. 

In the middle of the square stands the Church of St Nicholas, 
built in the Neo-Greek style, in 1846, on the site of the old Gothic 
Cathedral of Arras, which was destroyed during the Revolution. 

Preceded by a large peristyle with Ionic columns, the vital portions 
of the church are still standing. Among other interesting works of art, 
some of which came from the old Cathedral, are the following : finely 
carved confessionals, dating from the 16th century ; the 13th century 
phylactery shrine of St. Nicholas' Tooth, in gilt copper and silver ; 
a 16th century reliquary bust of St. Lambert, in gilt copper; the fold- 
ing*leaves of two triptychs — painted pannels, dating from late 
16th century — ■ representing The Carrying of the Cross, The Entomb- 
ment, The Virgin and Child, the donor, and the Fathers of the Latin Church; 
an early 18th century painting, depicting a symbolical procession. 

Skirt St. Nicholas' Church, on the right. At the bottom of the square 
is the entrance to the Prefecture, whose buildings occupy the site of the 
ancient Palace of the Bishop of Arras, Lord of the Cit^. 

Behind the Prefecture (seriously damaged), is an immense park 
with fine plantations, which were partly ravaged by shell-fire. 



55 




From the Prefecture to the Station, via the Citadelle 
Follow the roads shown by thick lines. 



Having passed in front o] the Prefecture, go round the chevet of St. 
Nicholas' Church, and take the short Rue des Chanoines which descends, 
on the right, towards the Rue d' Amiens. 

Take the Rue d' Amiens, on the left, and tarn into the second street on 
the right (Rue de Chdteaudun). 

Follow the latter to a small square, on tlie left of which is the Fishmarket, 
and on the right, the City Barracks (18//) centurij). 

Keep straight on, then take the Rue dc V Arsenal, to the Church of 
Notre- Dame-des-Ar DENTS. 



56 




I'll^; ' "I i;'" "1- -Ni'IKK-l)A>IK-liES-ARDENTS. THE CHEVET. 

Notre-Dame-des-Ardents Church was somewhat damaged by the 
bombardments. It was built about 1880, to commemorate the mira- 
culous cure of the " Mai des Ardents ", with which Arras was stricken 
in the Middle Ages. According to tradition, this plague was stamped 
out through the intervention of the Virgin. Two itinerant fiddlers 
received a candle, a few burning drops from which, spilt on the strick- 
en people, sufficed to cure them [See pp. 33 and 51). 

The Church possesses a 13th century shrine of chased silver, contain- 
ing fragments of the " Holy Candle ". 

Keep along the Rue de I' Arsenal, as far as the Rue Neuve-St-Elienne, 
which take on the right. The College, housed in an 18th century 
mansion, is passed on the left, at the corner of the two streets. 



III; JSy^iiH^?^- ,'■-■ Am}" . -^'V'-'MiiMniiiii 




THE Place Victor-Hugo. 



57 




The Rue Neuve-St-Elienne 
leads to the Place Victor- 
Hugo, in which stands a 
Pyramid (now truncated) 
dating from 1779. Octa- 
gonal in shape, the Place 
Victor-Hugo stands in the 
centre of this quarter of the 
city, the streets of which 
are straight, and intersect 
one another at right angles. 
This part of the city was 
built in the 18th century, 
and was then known as 
the " Basse Ville " or 
Lower Town. 

Beyond the Place Victor- 
Hugo, take the Rue des Pro- 
menades as far as the Boule- 
vard Crespel{see map. p. 55). 

The Boulevard Crespel 
runs alongside the fine 
Promenade des Allies 
which, planted with cen- 
tury-old lime-trees and 
elms, separates the Lower 
Town from the Citadelle. 

Turn left into the Boule- 
vard Crespel, unless it is 
desired to visit the Citadelle, 
in which case, go straight 

along the avenue which prolongs the Rue des Promenades. Al the end 
of the avenue, turn left, to reach the entrance to the Citadelle. Return 
by the same way to the Boulevard Crespel. 



The Prome.\ai)e leading to the (Jitadelle. 




The Citadelle. 



58 




The Citadelle Chapel. 



The Citadelle. 

The Citadelle was built in 1670-1674, from plans by Vauban. 

Fearing a survival of the memories left behind by the Spanish occu- 
pation, Louis XIV had this fortress built to keep the people of Arras 
in check. When it was completed, Vauban wrote to Louvois : " It 
will effectually dominate the town, enfilade many streets and demolish 
the buildings ". But although the Citadelle could subdue rebellions 
inside the town, it was ineffectual against an enemy from the outside, 
and soon came to be known as " The Useless Beauty ". 

In shape a pentagon, the Citadelle was commanded by five bastions, 
originally known as the King, Queen, Dauphin, Orleans and Anjou. 
These bastions, with their powerful walls and outer moat, are protect- 
ed by five semi-circular advance-works connected together by cur- 
tains. Two gates looking, the one towards the town and the other 
towards the country (formerly the "Royal Gate" and "Succour 
Gate") give access to the Citadelle {photo, p. 57). 

Inside, is the Citadelle Chapel, a graceful 17th century struc- 
ture with colonnaded stories surmounted by a >ound .pediment and 
a campanile {photo above). 

The Boulevard Crespel leads to the Boulevard Vauban, which take 
on the left. Pass the small Place Vauban, on the left, to the Hagerue 
cross-roads reached shortly afterwards. Here, take the Boulevard Carnot, 
on the right, back to the Place dc la Gare. 



59 



A VlSn^ TO THE BATTLEFIELDS OF ARTOIS. 

(Map below, 31 kms.) 
a) From Arras to Mont-Saint-tloi {Map No. 2, below; 9 kms.). 

Leave Anus bi] the Rue de Lille, Hue de Lens and Fuuboury SI Catherine. 
After crossing the Scarpe, St Cath- 
erine is reached. 

Leave the Bethune (N. 37) and 
Lille (N. 25) roads, on the right, tak- 
ing that on the left to St -Eloi [G. C. 
52), here called the Chaussee Brune- 
haut. This is an old Roman causeway 
and runs in a perfectlij straight line. 

Mont-St.-^loi. 

After passing through Anzin-St 
Aubin, the ruins of two high towers, 
truncated and torn by the shells 
will be noticed on the left. Fron: 
same, there is a magnificent view 
of the surrounding country. 

These towers are the last remaining 
vestiges of a famous abbey founded 
by St. Eloi in the 7th century and 
which was the centre of many stirr- 
ing events. Several battles were 
fought under its walls. 

In 1477, Louis XI, who was then 
besieging Arras, established himself 
there with his army. Two centur- 
ies later (1654) Cond6 made the 
place his headquarters, but was driv- 
en out by the troops under Turenne. 

,T^, . , , IX- Itinerary, north of Arras. 

1 lie Abbey was several times 

destroyed during these wars, but 
was always restored. In the middle 
of the 18th century, it was entire- 
ly rebuilt, but the work was 
scarcely completed, when the Re- 
volution I broke out. The Abbey 
was first secularized and sold as 
national property, then pulled down, 
with the exception of a monu- 
mental gate and the towers of the 
abbey church facade. 

The towers were severely dam- 
aged during the war, but although 
now in ruins, their aspect is still 
imposing. They overlook the village 
of Monl-St-Eloi, which also suffered 
severely from the bombardments 
{photos, pp. 60-62). 





From Arras to Mont-St. Ewi (9 kms). 



60 



Alleux Wood. 



Bouvigny Wood. 




Panorama, seen from one of the towers., 

Mord-Saint-Eloi was a first-rate Observation-Post, commanding as it did the 

the whole of the battlefields of Artois. 

Two long spurs shut in the horizon, on the north-east : 

Notre- Dame-de-Lorette {on the left) and Vimy Ridge {on the right). 



To reach the toivers, leave the Chaiissce Brunehaut, and take the steep 
paved street on the right (photo below). Ajter crossing through the vil- 
lage, the tourist arrives 
at the toivers {altitude: 
400 Jeet). 

Originally about 
175 feet in height, 
each tower comprised 
four square storeys, 
decorated with the 
classical Doric, Ionic 
and Corinthian col- 
umns. Nearly the 
whole of the upper 
portion of the towers 
has fallen down. 

Between the towers 
may be seen the re- 
mains of the entrance- 
portal, surmounted 
by an interior gallery 
Crossing of the CHAUssfeE BrunehautJwith **' the old abbey 

THE road to the ABBEY OF MoNT-ST-ELOI. ChUTCh. 




Irest ■si 

fotre-Dame-de-Lorette. Berthonval Wood. 



Vimy Ridge. 



ttl 




.OF Mont-St-Eloi Abbey. 

Betioeen the two spurs is a narrow pass, through which flows the River Souchez. 

A road, leadinf to Lens, runs alongside the river. 

From here, one readily grasps the aim of the Artois Offensives, by which the Allies sought 

to drive the enemy from the dominating crests, and to reach the Plain 

of Lens, through the Souchez Pass. 




TffB Abbey Towers, seen from the Observation-Post in the Abbey Farm. 



62 



I'lfE TOWEKS 

OF Mont-St- 
Eloi Abbey. 




Tourists may go up the right-hand lower. Enter by the interior breach, Ike upper part o/ 
which is visible in the photo, behind the fragment of enclosure wall. 

To ascend the right-hand loiver (photo above) enter same from the rear. 
After climbing 104 steps, a small door on the right leads to a platform, 
which cross, to reacli a gap, tlirough which there is an extensive view of 
the surrounding country. 

b) From Mont-St-Eloi to Carency. (See maps below, 4 Icms). 




Mont-Saint-Eloi. 




FROM Mont-St-Eloi 

TO CARENCr. 




Carency. 



After descending the tower, continue along the street, tlien take 
the first turning on the left, opposite the Abbey Farm. The street dips 



63 




FRENCH Cemetery at the entrance to Carency. 
{See sketch-map No. 3, page 62). 

down to the village. Outside the latter, at llie cross-roads, take the riijht- 
hand road in the direction of Carency. 

1,500 yards beyond Mont-Sl-Eloi, there is a sunken by-road, to the 
right of the main road, alongside which is a large,,.French military ceme- 
tery. 2 kms. further on, at the entrance to Carency, there is another cemetery 
on the left of the road (plwto above). 



Carency. 

The village of Carency lies along the slopes of a narrow valley, at the 
bottom of which runs the Carency Stream. The latter shortly after- 
wards becomes the Souchez (at Lens), then the Deule (at Lille). To 
the north of the brook runs the single-gauge Fr6vent-Lens railway. 

The village comprised five groups of houses: one in the centre, which 
included the Church, and the other four facing the four cardinal points. 
Starting from the eastern group there is a road which leads to Souchez, 
bounded on the north by the wood and brook of Carency, and on the 
south by ravines. 

The position of Carency had been in the enemy 's hands since Octo- 
ber 1914, and formed a salient in their lines. Connected up with 
their general defences by trenches and boyaux on each side of the 
Carency-Souchez road, it formed a strategic position of great import- 
ance for the Germans, preventing as it did any French advance 
towards Lens, or direct communication between Arras and B^thune. 

The village had accordingly been transformed into an almost 
impregnable fortress, defended by four lines of trenches. Each street 
and house was fortified, subterranean passages connecting up the cel- 
lars. In the gardens which surrounded the houses, were numerous 
batteries of artillery and countless machine-guns. The garrison 
consisted of four battalions and at least six companies of engineers, 
under the command of a brigadier-general. 



64 



As early as December 1914, the French attempted to take Carency. 
Two attacks on the 18th and 27th of that month, advanced their first 
lines to the northern and western outskirts of the village, but further 
progress was stayed by violent machine-gun fire. 

Then began a long period of raids and mining operations, which 
continued throughout the Winter, until the Spring. Over a hundred 
mines were sprung. Little by little, the German trenches were 
destroyed, together with [their deadly flanking positions, which 
bristled with machine-guns. Thus the French first lines were 
steadily brought closer to those;^''of the enemy. 




Fortified Houses at the foot of Care.vcv Church, is .Ma.? 1915. 



In the course of these combats, the French generally remained 
masters of the edges of the craters, which they immediately organized 
defensively. In spite of tht mud, into which the men sank up to their 
middle (1), they managed to hold them, despite the enemy's 
counter-attacks. Making sudden rushes from the cellars in the village, 
the Germans attempted to break the grip which was gradually strangling 
them. More than 2,700 yards of mine galleries were thus patiently bored 
and fired, until the enemy's positions were surrounded by an endless 
chain of mine craters, resulting in such a chaotic upheaval of the ground 
on the western flank of the viHage, that it became impossible to ad- 
vance further on that side. 

The attack of May 9, 1915, was therefore directed against the south- 



(1) Rain fell contlnuouBly throughout the Winter, so that in January there was as much 
as 4 feet of water in some of the trenches. 



65 




May 10 




^^:^..wffl^- 



May If 


/' 




125 S.cieCs ren c y ■•'' <~ 




■'••-■■ii''; " ■ ,.:.•' 




§§pl.;::' ^f^,- 


.;;;/ 


'"-^^,§^f 



May 12 




A --J - 



The Capture of Carency. 

nieces* to the village from the west being impossible on account of the mine craters, the attack 

began on the south, continued on the east, and ended on the northern side. 



ern and eastern outskirts of the village. It was led by General 
Fayolle, who at that time was commanding a division of the 33rd 
Corps, then under the orders of General Petal n. 

A series of strongly fortified ravines and hollows separated the 
French trenches from the southern outskirts of Carency, and from the 
Carency-Souchez road. In a single rush, the infantry covered the in- 
tervening ground, overcoming all obstacles and carrying three lines 
of trenches. However, having once reached the outskirts of the vil- 
lage, they had to conquer the ground, foot by foot, with grenades. 
By evening, the ruins of the southern group of houses were being 
hard pressed, and in places the first French trenches had almost 
reached the Carency-Souchez road. 

The next day (May 10), the investment continued on the east. The 
Souchez road was everywhere reached, and the enemy, unable to use 
the trenches along this road, were deprived of all means of communi- 
cation with Souchez. 

On May 11, the road was passed, and Carency Wood carried. 

Finally, on the 12th, the French captured the wooded hillock to the 
north-east of the village, known as Hill 125, whilst to the north- 
west, they captured an immense deep quarry, transformed into a for- 
tified redoubt, against which the mining operations had proved ineffectual. 

Carency was now totally invested. No longer able to retreat, the 
Germans wore cDinpcllcd lo sui tciuUt. Waving (heir itanrlkerchiefs 



GG 




The Rcixs of Cauexcy Church. 

and raising their hands above the parapets, more thai; a thousand 
prisoners — Saxon infantry, Bavarian Chasseurs and Baden Guards, 
headed by a colonel — were soon hurrying along the trenches to the rear. 

Not a single house in Carency escaped the devastating effect of 
the heavy artillery, first of the~French, and "afterwards of the Germans, 
whose shells continued for months to fall in the village. 

The destruction was complete. As early "as May 1915, when the 
French made their entrance, all the houses were ripped ono.n from top 
to bottom, the very cellars being crushed in. 

Here and there, a few deep underground shelters withstood the 
pounding, and these were used to shelter the garrison from the 
volleys of artillery fire which the Germans afterwards continued to 
direct against the village. 













MINK CRATERS ON THE SOUTHERN CREST OF CARENCY. 
The phoio shows the German Shelters, half destroyed by French mines, on the day of the A/turk 

(May 9, 1915). 



67 



¥WZi 



N'D'de'X'' ..J 





From Carency to Souchez. 



Exit from Carency. 



c) From Carency to Souchez [sec left-hand' sketch above, 6j kms.). 

At the foot of the ruined church, take the road which crosses the valley 
of Carency, stopping the car on the opposite side, beyond the quarries. [See 
the right-hand sketch above). 

From this dominating point, one gets a fine panoramic view of tlie 
village, and of the principal objectives of the attacks of May 1915. 
The crest opposite formed the line of departure of the attacking troops. 
On the right, in the western outskirts of the village, can be seen the 
field of mine craters. The crest on which the tourist is standing, was 




Top ART Mill. 



attacks which encircled Carency, 



the final objective of the convert 
(see p. 65). 

li kms. beyond Carency, the okl Topart Mill 
above). It stands on Hill 136, which was carried in 
at' the beginning of the Offensive 
of May 1915. 

After passing Topart Mill and 
crossing the hill which separates 
the' valley of the Carency from 
that of the StyNazaire, the road 
descends to Ablain-St-Nazaire. 
// was from there that the pano- 
rama on pages 68-69 was taken. Ablain-S vixt-Xazaike 



is passed [photo 
a brilliant attack 



AhlainJ ^mxairc' " 




08 



Spur of Notre-Dame- 



Bouvigny Wood. Matliis^pur 



Grand Spur. 



fhapel 

Arabes N-H. 

spur. deLore 




Panorama of the Battlefields. 




The CHtTKCH OF Abl.ux-St-\az.ure IX 1919. 



ABLAIN- 

SAINT-NAZAIRE. 

Keeping along the 
road, Ablain-St-Nazaire 
(totally destroyed) is 
entered from the south- 
west. Its shapeless 
ruins extend for nearly 
a mile on both sides of 
the St. Nazaire stream. 

The village was 
powerfully fortified by 
the Germans. Each 
group of houses formed 
a centre of resistance, 
held by a strong gar- 
rison and defended by 
large numbers of ma- 
chine-guns. Its cap- 
ture was consequently 
long and arduous. 

Begun immediately 
after the fall of Carency 
(May 12), it was com- 
pleted only on May 29, 
by the capture of. a 
large block of houses, 
which prolonged the 
burgh to the north, 
towards the slopes of 



69 



.l)E-LOUETTE 



iVi.irv Ridge. 



BlHiiclie-Viiic 
Spur. 



Sdiiclicz .Mjlaiii Soiii-liez C;ii-leiil The I'imiiie. N. JT. Anus- llill Folic 

Spur. Cliiirch. Pass. Park. (Hill llli). lic^lluuic lV(i. Farm 




Aktois (see pages "l-T.")). 



Notre -D ame- 
de-Lorette. 

The village of 
Ablain-St-Nii- 
zaire possessed 
a church of 
great historical 
interest. 

It was built 
at the begin- 
ning of theieih 
century, in 
15th century 
Gothic style, 
by the lord of 
Carency and 
the nobles of 
.\rtois. 

On tlie west- 
er 11 fa? a d e 
rose a large 
square tower, 
lit feet high, 
11 a n k e d b y 
massive but- 
tresses and 
surmounted by 
a battlemented 
parapet with 
watch - towers 
at the corners. 




THE (JHURCH OF ABLAIN-ST-JJ AZAIRE BEFORE THE WAR (Uist. Mon.). 



70 




General View of Ablaix-St-Xazaire, as seex from X.-D.-de-Lorette. 



The great portal of the south facade, ornamented with exceptionally 
fine sculpture, was one of the most remarkable in the whole region. 




Ablaix-St-Xazaire and the Spur of Notre-Dame-de-Lorette. 



71 








The Spur of Xotke-Uamk-de-Lukette, 
The road becomes impracticabh at the point where the car is standing. 



NOTRE-DAME-DE-LORETTE. 

Ablain-St-Nazaire is dominated on the north by the crest of Notre- 
Dame-de-Lorette. A road starting near the church leads to the place 
where, on Hill 1G5, stood a chapel of that name. Take this road for 
500 yards, at ivhich point it becomes impracticable' for cars. Continue 
on foot, to visit tlie JMassif of Lorettc. 

From tlie spot where the car is left, the pcdh on the left which leads up 
to the crest, in the direction of the chapel, can be followed with the eije 
{see photo cdiovc). Further to the right, a boyaii leads thither in an 
almost straiglit line, crossed, near the to]>, bg a trench. This trench runs 
to the rigid, towards the eastern slope of tlie massif, whence tlie finest 
panoramic view of the battlefields is to be obtained. 

Ascend by the path leading to the site of the chapel, returning by the 
boyaii, after visiting the plalecai and admiring //;■■ !>anorama. 

The top of Notre-Danio-dc-LoretlL' lornis a Iohl!; spur, wliich, extend- 
ing west to east, from Bouvigny \\ Ood to the north of Souchez, 
advances as a promontory into the Phiin of Lens, as far as the outskirts 
of the coal district. At the top of tlic eastern portion, near a point 
shown on the map as " Cote 165 ", there stood, Ijefore the war, the Cha- 
pel of Notre-Dame-de-Lorette, a popular local pilgrimage. 

Whilst the northern slopes of the plateau are fairly gentle, those 
on the reverse side are very steep. Five abrupt counterscarps, separ- 
ated by narrow ravines, run from the massif to the south-cast. Seen 
from the depression of Ablain-St-Nazaire, they somewhat resemble the 
sections of a melon, and were accordingly cliristened " Cotes de Melon " 
by the poilus. Considered from west to cast, they are the Mathis 
Spur, Grand Spur, Arabes Spur, Blanchc-Voie Spur and Souchez 
Spur, which latter towers above the eastern exit from .\blain-St-Nazaire 
and the sugar-refinery situated on the Souchez road. [Sketch, p. 72). 

From the beginning of the Irciuh warfare period, the French 10th 
Army attempted to carry this i)osilion. 

In December 1914 and .January 1915, the 21st Corps, under the 
command of General Maistre, gained a footing on the Mathis Spur. 
On March 15, 1915. after inost violent fighting, they carried the next 
(Grand) Spur, defended by three successive lines of trenches, and held 
it, in spite of powerful counter-attacks, which often degenerated into 



.May 9, 1915./' 




,^v 



»fcS;^^^". 









Ahlcu. 



r^ *■ Hefine 



?^^S 



furious lumd-lo-liand strug- 
gles. In the following month 
the third (Arabcs) Spur was 
carried. 



The Attack o.y N.-D.-de-Lorette Crest. 
H broke donm aqainst the Chnpel Fortress. 



After these preliminary 
attacks, the Artois Offensive 
was launched on May 9. 
The 21st Corps received or- 
ders to drive the enemy 
from the last two spurs of 
the massif, and to carry 
the upper crest, on the eas- 
tern edge of which stood 
Lorette Chapel, separated 
from the first French tren- 
ches by some 1,000 yards. 
The German defences were truly formidable. From Arabes Spur 
to the Souchez-Aix-Noulette^road (N. 37), running at the foot of the 
north-eastern slopes of the hill, were echeloned five lines of deep trenches 
which for six months had been reinforced with sacks of earth and 
cement, and protected with double and triple lines of barbed wire and 
" chevaux-de-frise". Every 100 yards, barricades armed with machine- 
guns had been erected, forming powerful flanking positions. Several 
redoubts and advance-works served as points of support for the 
defence of the trenches. One of them, north-east of the chapel, 
comprising moats, palisades, casemates and shelters 35 or more feet 
in depth, prevented access to the end of the plateau. 

A division of picked ti'oops, mostly Baden men, had orders to hold 
Notre-Dame-de-Lorette at all cost, whilst in the rear, concealed in 
the large straggling villages of Angresiand Lievin, powerful artillery 
swept the whole of the northern flank of the hill and the plateau itself 
with continuous fire [see map, p. 8). .. u^* 

General Maistre's Division, which had charge of the attack, comprised 
three infantry regiments and three battalions of Chasseurs. 

On May 9, at 10 a. m., the first waves dashed forward. Two hours 
later, three lines of defences had been carried, and the key of the posi- 
tion — the chapel fortress • — reached, where the German machine- 
gunners, behind heaps of earth-bags and thick steel-plates kept 
up a withering fire. The attack broke down against this formidable 
obstacle, the assailants suffering heavy casualties. Some of the com- 
panies, having lost all their officers, were commanded by sergeants. 
The advance was now effected by rushes from one shell-hole to another. 
Large areas of " chevaux-de-frise " situated in a depression of the 
ground in front of the fortress, were still practically intact. However, 
the Chasseurs would not give in. Although their ranks were terribly 
depleted, they clung to the ground and were soon joined by the infan- 
try. The fighting continued furiously with grenade, bayonet and 
knife, the German machine-gunners firing the while uninterruptedly. 

Night fell, lighted up by the shells and rockets, and torn by the cries 
of the wounded, the roar of the explosions, and the crackling of the 
machine-guns. Chasseurs and infantry improvised positions on the 
conquered ground. IJcforo an enormous mine-crater ninety yards in 
circumference, they pushed the corpses to the bottom, and organised 
themselves on the edges, behind improvised parapets. 



73 




L Ahlainy'-^S^M 



THE Attack ox N.-D.-de-Lokette Crest. 
The capture of the Chapel. 



Nlayl8.-20> 



«h. 



•^la 






l<"roiii May 10 to 12, 1 ho silii- 
alion renuiined uuchangeil. 
The French fully main- 
tained their gains, and even 
increased them slightly, 
while the German machine- 
guns fired without respite. 
" It is hot, and the 
smell is atrocious. The dead 
of the previous months, 
with only the thinnest 
covering of earth over them, 
have been torn from their 
graves by the shells. The 
plateau is a charnel-house..." 
On May 12, at night-fall, 
the Chasseurs left their entrenchments, and throwing themselves flat 
on the ground, wriggled up to the fortress. There, below the machine- 
guns, which were firing about two feet above their heails, they 

wrenched out sacks of earth 
and thrust them into the 
loop holes, thereby slacken- 
ing the' enemy's lire. Taking 
advantage of the lull, the 
supports rushed up, and 
the wave swept over the 
parapet. 

Inside the fortress, furious 
hand-to-hand fighting fol- 
lowed in the pitch darkness. 
The Germans were beaten, 
and the chapel, in ruins, 
was left behind. Beyond, 
v.as an inextricable, chaotic 
tangle of underground pas- 
sages and shelters, mine- 
craters, and shell-holes, en- 
cumbered with dead, arms, e(]uii)mi'nl and stores. 

Although masters of the crest of the Plateau of Notre-Dame-de- 
Lorettc, the French were not yet in possession of the whole massif, 
as the Germans were slill 

holding the two spurs of m — „x.,. ^ ,-■■- — — ; . ^ o 'U\ n 

Blanche-Voie and Souchez. 
The rain, added to the nu- 
merous springs to be found 
in the region, had transform- 
ed the clay soil into a 
swamp, which made any 
advance extremely difficult. 
However, Souchez Spur was 
gradually conquered on the 
following days, to the point 
where it looks down upon 
the sugar refinery at Sou- 
chez. On the other hand the 
enemv's galling machine- 










The Attack on N.-D.-de-Lorette Crest. 
The French masters of tlie Crest. 









.K^-^'f^- 






The Attack on N.-D.-de-Lorette Crest. 
The eiUire massif of Loretle was taken. 



74 




Xutre-Dame-de- l^oRETTE t'HAl'EL IN' 1914. (See below). 

gun fire broke all attacks on the Blanche- Voie. Up to May 20, 
the French line described a wide semi-circle, from the west of Ablain- 
St-Nazaire to the flanks of the eastern spur, passing round the other 
counterscarp. For eight days more, the Germans, crouching in their 
entrenchments on the Blanche-Voie and in the houses which they 
still held to the north and east of Ablain, swept the French lines 
unceasingly with their machine-gun fire, whilst their batteries at 
Angres and Lievin kept the top of the plateau under shell-fire. 

Finally, on IVIay 22, after two days of furious fighting, the trenches 
ofTiBlanche-Voie were carried, and the whole of the massif oi Notre- 




THE Chapel of Notre-Dahe-de-Lorette was entirely destroyed. 
I The photo on the next page shoivs how it looked in 1919.) 



75 



Daine-dc-LorcLLe, 
except the lower 
part of the slopes 
of Souchez Spur, 
was occupied by 
the French (see 
3rd sketch, p. 73). 

The fighting had 
lasted thirteen 
days. On both 
sides, the losses 
were very heavy. 
Three thousand 
German dead were 
counted. 

On July 11, 
1915, General 
d'Urbal, command- 
ing the French 
10th Army, men- 
tioned the 21 si 
Corps and the 
4Sth and 58th Divi- 
sion s in the 
Army Order of the 
Day, in the follow- 
ing terms: Under 
the command oj 
General Maistrc, 
(jave proof of a 
tenacity and devo- 
tion above all 
praise, in the course 
of repeated attacks 
carried out during 
several consecutive 
weeks, under intense bombardment, day and night, by the enemy's artillery. 

When coming from Ablain-St-Xazaire, the tourist, on reaching the 




JjKliillS 



.NuriiK-DAME-DE-LoRExrE Chapel. 







The Cemetery near the si-oar Refinery at Souchez. 



76 



Vimy N. 37. 
Ridge. l{.(5thuiie- 
Soiii'licz. Mill 119. Arras. 




P.\XOR.\M.\ SEEN FROM. 

crest of^the massif of Notre-Dame-de-Lorette, sees a plateau abso- 
lutely devoid of any sign of life. The ground is a mere succession of 
shell-holes and mine-craters, with no interesting remains of thej^old 
German defences. 

As to the Chapel, the stone foundations of one of ,the walls, marked 
by two shelters of corrugated iron, are all that is left to show the 
[)asser-by where it once stood. Three small statues found wiien the 
debris were cleared away, may now be seen in one of the shelters 
{photo p. 75). 

About half-a-mile to the right, the eastern slope is reached, from which 
there is a fine, extensive panorama (photo above) : in the hollow, are 
the shapeless ruins of the church and houses of Ablain-St-Nazaire ; 
behind, those of Carency, and in the distance, the broken towers of Mont- 
St-Eloi ; on the left, Souchez and beyond, the thinly scattered poplar- 
trees along the Bethune-Arras road ; still further to the left, in a depres- 



^f^ -K,^ 

^^!^^-^ 





The Ruined Sugar Kefinerv at Souchez. 
In the background: Notre-Darne-de-LoretU ; on the left: Ablain-St-Nazaire Church. 



77 



Atilain-Soucliez 
Road. 



Hill 12K. 
Alleux CRrency 

Wood. Careney. Wood " 




. XOTRE-D.UIE-DE-LORETTE. 

sion of the ground, a confuseil mass of ruins : Angrcs, I>ievin and Lens. 

After visiting Notre-Damc-dc-Lorettc, return to Ablain-St-Na:aire ; 
in front of tlie church, take the Soiichez road [see panorama above), which 
is bounded on the south by tlie St. Nazaire stream. . Here, the ground, 
in a state of chaotic upheaval, presents an endless succession of shell- 
holes, many of which overlap one another. 

About half-way on the road to Souchez, near a military cemetery 
{photo p. 75) is a heap of broken, battered vats rusting in the open — 
all that remains of the important Sugar-Refinery of Souchez {photo 
p. 76). The Germans transformed the place into a formidable strong- 
hold, to prevent any communication with Souchez. It was reached 
by the French on ]May 15, but was only carried on the 30th, after two 
days of bitter fighting. On the following night, the Germans succeed- 
ed in reoccupying Die ])osition, but were driven out for good at dawn. 




Carle tiL Chateau Park. 



78 



Furious counter-attacks by the enemy in June were brolien, and only 
served to furtlier increase their already heavy losses. 

300 yards beijond the sugar refinery, the western outskirts of Souchez 
are reached ; to the right of the road, a few shell-torn trees stand out in 
the marshy, upturned ground. It was here that, before the War, 
the Chateau of Carleul (modern) stood, built near the ruins of an 
ancient chateau, surrounded with water, in the centre of an immense 
park. 



Souchez is next entered. 



SOUCHEZ. 



Tlie village stands in a hollow, through which flow the St. Nazaire 
and Carency streams. These streams meet at Souchez, forming the 
river of that name. To the east, a gentle slope leads to Hill 
119. The line of high ground continues thence towards the south- 
east, rising to an altitude of 460 feet. This, the famous Vimy Ridge, 
was the last obstacle barring the way to the Plain of Lens and Douai. 

The Germans had made of Souchez a formidable stronghold. All 
the houses were fortified and armed with machine-guns. In the out- 
skirts of the village was a series of strong-points : the Cabaret Rouge, 
the Cemetery, Souchez Wood, the Park and Castle of Carleul, and 
lastly, the embankment of the Frevent-Lens light railway, with the 
station of Ablain-Souchcz at the western end of Carleul Park. 

The fortified ruins of the castle were protected by an outer moat 
16 feet wide, and the immense park formed the main bastion of the 
advanced defences. The ground was cut up in all directions with 
trenches and boyaux, protected by deep entanglements of barbed 
wire. Moreover, the whole park, and the wood which prolongs it 
to the east, had been turned into ;in innucnso swani]), by diverting the 
waters of the Carency Stream. 

In the Spring of 1915, after the capture of Carency and the Sugar 
Refinery of Souchez, the l-'rench made several attacks on these de- 




The Ruins of Souchkz Village. In the. Imckuround : Giivnchii Hill. 



7il 




Tur Stone Cross at souchez in I'.tu. 



fences, sometimes gaining a 
footing in the Park of tlie 
Chateau of Carleul, but each 
time their advance was checlv- 
cd by machine-gun fire, and 
I hey were compelled to rehn- 
quish the ground which they 
had conquered at heavy cost. 
The station, cemetery and 
Cabaret Rouge were likewise 
repeatedly attacked, but after 
frequently changing hands 
in June, the Germans were able to keep thei 











The abuvk tuoss i.s lull 



80 




emeteryl ^"^ 














abar6fc.\ 






Little by little, the opposing 
lines, separated by a few 
yards only, became fixed in 
the outskirts of Souchez, on 
either side of the Carency- 
Souchez railway. Fighting 
from trench to trench, with 
bombs and grenades, the 
struggle continued, without 
any appreciable result, and 
ended only with the Offensive 
of September. 

On Septembre 25, after an 
arlillery preparation lasting 
live days, a fresh general 
attack, directed by General 
Fayolle, was made against 
the village. 

At the appointed time, the 
C^hasseurs dashed across the 
railway which separated them 
from the Park of Carleul. By 
means of folding foot-bridges, 
they crossed the moats of 
the chateau, and entered the 
park. The Germans gave way 
under the violence of the 
shock, and a mad pursuit 
began over the muddy ground, 
across the swamps, mine- 
craters, labyrinth of trenches, 
fallen trees, etc... Souchez 
Wood was quickly reached, 
but from that point, the 
pursuit became more and 
more difficult, owing to the 
marshy ground which had 
been flooded by the Carency 
and St. Nazaire streams. Up 
to their knees — sometimes 
to their middle — in the water 
and mud, the Chasseurs never- 
theless reached the approach- 
es to liie main road and church towards evening and strongly 
occupied the whole of the western outskirts. 

Meanwhile, to the north, other units had captured the lines of tren- 
ches, north of the Ablain streams and reached the northern outskirts 
of Souchez. 

To the south, however, the attack was less successful. The cemetery, 
first carried by storm, had to be abandoned, and the flooded ground 
prevented any approach to the village in this direction. 

On September 26, in the morning, the enemy were still holding 
the northern, southern and central ])ortions of Souchez, and the situa- 
tion was critical for the assailants. Large numbers of machine-guns 
ke|)t up a deadly fire, whilst batteries jtostcd in Angres, Lievin and 



^"^^■■■'■^ ''■v^^■•.■■^ '*'''"':; fM#^^l/^-^^ y^i 



1191- ri?:?'- 






The Attack and Capture of Souchez. 



81 



Givenchy enliladed the depression of Souchez 
with incessant volleys of gas shells. 

The French Commandant decided lo make 
a frontal attack upon Souchez and to cross the 
village throughout its length, as far as the 
eastern outskirts. In spite of the stubborn 
resistance of the defenders, the houses, redoubts, 
and machine-gun nests fell one after the other. 
At night-fall, the French debouched from the laTarqett^ 
village, and established their lines some 400 
yards beyond the last houses on the eastern 
side of the village, along the road which runs 
at the foot of Hill 119. 

Thus Souchez fell, 1,378 German prisoners 
being taken in two days ; but of the once flour- 
ishing burgh, with its two railway-stations, 
large hospital, fine 15th century church (12th 
century spire), and famous 13th century stone 
cross, not a wall remains standing (photos, 
pp. 78-79). 

d) From Souchez to Arras (see map opposite). 
The road by which tlie tourist reaches Ablaiii- 
St-Nazaire ends at the central cross-roads of 
Souchez, in the middle of which stood a stone cross 
(photos, p. 79). The site of this cross is marked by a Iieap of stones. 

Turn to the right, between tlie debris of the cross and the ruins of the 
cluirch. The latter used to stand at the corner of the roads to Ablain and 
Arras. Take the Arras road (N. 37) which, first .straight, makes an 
" S " bend a short distance beyond the village. 

Hill 119 (see map, p. 82). 

At the bend in the road, opposite the Cemetery of Souchez, go on 
foot to Hill 119 (about 1 km). First a round hillock is crossed, along- 
side which runs the famous Chemin des Pylones, then through a 
field of shell-holes and old broken-down defences the tourist descends 





Hill 119. 



82 



into SoucHEZ Ravine. Hill 119 rises steeply before us, and we^see 
the torn tree stumps of ficoULOiRS Wood. 

The slopes, at first very steep and crossed by horizontal banks, 
forming so many dark lines against the chalky background {photo 
p. 81), ease off towards a scarcely inclined glacis up to the line of the 
crest. The slopes were cut up by an inextricable labyrinth of boyaux 
and trenches, but the main line of resistance lay just behind the crest, 
on the counter-slope. Swept by the machine-guns of this line, the 
glacis was covered with deep entanglements of barbed-wire. 

Hill 119 was carried in a single rush on May 9, 1915, and retaken 
by the Germans the same evening. Three fresh attacks by the 
French against this formidable position failed with heavy loss, in spite 
of the heroism of the men. It was finally conquered by the Canadians 
on April 10-11, 1917, after a terrible pounding by the artillery. 

The Break-through of May 9, 1915. 

On May 9, 1915, the 33rd Corps (Petain), supported on the right 
by the 20th and on the left by the 21st, attacked from the south- 
ern outskirts of Carency and from Berthonval Wood, with the fol- 
lowing objectives : the 70th Division (Fayolle), Carency; the 77th Di- 
vision (Barbot), the B^thune road, then Carleul Park, Cabaret Rouge 
and Souchez Cemetery, one regiment to push on to Hill 119 and 
the village of Givenchy, whilst on the right, the Moroccan Divi- 
sion and the 20th Corps were to carry Hill 140, Folie W^ood and 
Neuville-St-Vaast. Simultaneously, the 21st Corps, on the extreme 
left, after clearing the Crest of Notre-Dame-de-Lorette, had orders to 
turn Souchez from the north. (See map, p. 10). 

At 5 a. m., on May 9, the troops were in their assigned positions. 
In perfect weather, the artillery preparation began at 6 a. m., the Ger- 
man guns replying but , feebly. 







)%\ -^-••^il^'^S^^''^^ 



The attack on hill 119 (May 9, 1915, morning). 
The French gained a footing on Vimy Ridge. 



S-6 



" At 9.55 a. ni., the bombardmenl doubles in intensity. The shells 
are falling like hail, the noise is infernal. Bayonets are fixed, the 
order " Forward " is given, the whole plain is alive... The great of- 
fensive has begun. 

"To the yells of " En avant I En avant 1 ", the first line is carried. 
In many places, the Germans, half-dressed and stunned, have no time 
to resist. Elsewhere, they make a stubborn defence, and kill a lot 
of our men... But, no matter " En avant I " 

" Now the Plain of Lens comes into sight, with its factories and 
countless red-roofed houses — the great city we are going to recon- 
quer I The enormous wave sweeps madly onward. It is impossible 
to hold the men back for a moment, to bring them into something 
like order. Everyone runs, and how could we do otherwise, at the 
sight of the Germans, yonder, cutting it, for dear life, towards Car- 
leul and Souchez ? 

" We are now in front of the famous Omega position, covered with 
barbed wire, almost intact. Through the rare gaps, the 97th and 
159th enter together, and kill the defenders. Here, at last, is the 
B^thune road. Taking it, to the north, the 97th reach the Cabaret 
Rouge, carry the Cemetery of Souchez, and send out patrols into the 
heart of the village. It is 11 o'clock, and their mission is already 
fulfilled. Crossing the road, the 159th continue their advance towards 
Hill 119. Before them, opens the great Ecouloirs Ravine, beyond 
which the cliffs of Hill 119 rise abruptly. Dashing in, the men 
discover and capture a battery of howitzers, around which they 
swarm, forming a human whirlpool of Alpine Chasseurs, Zouaves, 
Tirailleurs, extenuated with the charge, the heat, enthusiasm and 
thirst. " (Captain Humbert's La Division Barbol.) 

On the right, veterans of the Foreign Legion, Tirailleurs and Zou- 
aves of the Moroccan Division, attacked with the same ardour. Forc- 




i'UE N. 37 (AKltAS-BKl'HUNE IWAD). 

In the background : La Targette. 



84 



iiij4 llicir way Ihrougli llu' wire eiilauglcnienls, wliicli in i>hues were 
still intact, Ihey reached the second lines, leaving groups of men in 
front of the unconqucred machine-guns. Trench -cleaners armed 
with grenades, revolvers and knives, carried the isolated strong points. 
In spite of the deadly machine-gun cross-lire from Xeuville-Sl- 
Vaast, Folic Farm and Souchez, the enemy's resistance was vain. 
Reserves fdled up the gaps in the ranks, and the wave of the storm 
troops swept up the slopes of the ridge, crushing all obstacles. 

At 11.30 a. m., the Moroccan Division and the 159th Regiment 
reached the crest, whilst patrols entered Givenchy. 

" We have broken through, and victory is ours. All hearts are filled 
with enthusiasm. 

" Yes, the breach is open, but we cannot ask those who made it 
to go on. They are exhausted with fatigue, emotion, thirst, having 
advanced four and a half kilometres in an hour-and-a-half, which, in 
battle, is enormous. Then there is the question of our losses, until 
now unheeded. There are scarcely any officers left to lead the men ". 
(Captain Humbert's La Division Barbot.) 

The reinforcements, so impatiently -"waited, were long in coming. 
The advance had been too swift. 

Supported by artillery, which they were able to bring up behind 
Folie Wood, the Germans counter-attacked in the afternoon, with 
fresh troops. The French African troops, exhausted and deprived of 
most of their officers, were overpowered, and the crest was retaken 
by the enemy. 

From Hill 119, the Germans bombarded the plain with great 
violence. 

" Ry evening, the cemetery nad become untenable, and had to be 
abandoned by the 97th, who took up positions 200 yards away, in 




^^ //- \?. 



ret; -'^M^es 'v.'%- 



V^..' 



n \ll 









'--.K-ii 






14-0 



'> 



The Attack on Hill 119. (May 9, 1915, evening). 

German Counter- Attafiks forced the French to fall back on the Chemin des Pyl6ne$ 

and the Cabaret Rouge. 



85 




FoLiE WOOD. On the skyline : ViMY Ridge. 

front of the Cabaret Rouge. The 159th and the IMoroccans established 
themselves near the Chemin des Pylones. The Chasseurs held the 
road from Souchez to Carency, in the bottom of the valley. The Ger- 
mans did not venture down Hill 119, to push home their advantage. 

" Among all those who, that morning, had set out, confident of 
victory, and who, the same evening, were watching before Souchez, 
there was joy mingled with disappointment, but still great faith in 
the future. " 

The 70th Division having failed to capture Carency, and the 21st 
Corps being unable to debouch from Lorette, the offensive was checked. 

'' Temporarily seized with panic, the Germans quickly recovered. All 
their available reserves and artillery from the Artois, Picardy and 
Flanders fronts, were concentrated near Lens, in an effort to throw 
the French back on their departure bases. " 




VniY RiDOE. 



86 



"The bombardment, accurately regulated from the top of Hill 119 
increased, hour by hour. 

" The trees along the Bdthune road were gradually cut to pieces by 
the shells, and the Cabaret Rouge fell down. 

" The survivors of the French attack, who had no time to dig them- 
selves in deeply, lay on the ground, behind slight ridges of earth, which 
afforded little protection against the splinters. The number of the 
wounded increased with disconcerting rapidity, but they were forced 
to stay where they were, among the Tirailleurs, as the barrage prevent- 
ed any movement being made to the rear. 

" The field-kitchens could not reach the men, whose water-bottles 
were empty. The heat was suffocating on the arid plateau, and the 
men, mad with thirst, drank their own water..." (Captain Humbert's 
La Division Barbot.) 

The Attack of June 16, 1915. 

A new attempt having been decided on, the artillery was strongly 
reinforced, and enormous quantities of shells were accumulated near 
the batteries. 

However, the Germans took similar measures, and replied to the 
French preparation with a still more violent counter-preparation. 
The Moroccan Division were to attack Hill 119; the 77th Divi- 
sion, on their left, were to attack Souchez ; the objective of the 9th 
Corps, on the right, was Hill 140. 

The date and hour of the attack were fixed for June 16 at 12.15 
p.m. In the centre, the 8th Zouaves and the 4th Tirailleurs opened 
the attack. Advancing swiftly through Souchez Ravine the men 

scaled the abrupt 
slopes of Hill 119, 
carrying everything 
before them, except 
ficouloirs Wood — 
which they turned 
— and finally reach- 
ed their objective. 
Less fortunate, 
the neighbouring 
divisions, on the 
right and left, were 
held by rafales of 
machine-gun fire, 
the 97th alone recap- 
turing the cemetery. 
On the left flank of 
the 4th Tirailleurs, 
Souchez, forming a 
bastion, took the 
assailants, first in 
enfilade, then in the 
rear. One battalion 
was accordingly 
compelled to face 
The ATTACK ON HiiiL 119, IN June 1915. towards Souchez, 

The French advanced rapidly on June 16, hut were driven back whilst the oth Zou- 

on tlu 22nd by Counter-Attnelcs. aves faced towards 




87 

Neuville-St-Vaast. The division's positions became fixed, describing 
a salient measuring some 2 s Icilometres round its outer edge. 

Against this wedge thus driven into their lines, the Germans launched 
repeated, unsuccessful counter-attacks. At 8 p. m., one of them, 
more powerful than the others, debouched from a sunken road, against 
the left of the line held by the Zouaves. One of the chaplains, his 
stick in one hand and his cap in the other, ran forward, shouting : 
" I may not shed blood, but I have my stick. Forward ! " A group of 
Zouaves, galvanised by his words, charged the enemy and put them 
to flight. 

Night fell. The position had to be held, and the 7th Tirailleurs 
of the Foreign Legion, reinforced the 8th Zouaves and 4th Tirailleurs. 

The bombardment was such that it became necessary to relieve the 
Moroccan Division. The 60th and 61st Battalions of Chasseurs, 
with units from various other regiments, took their place in the 
" pocket ", in which shells from Folic Wood, Givenchy Wood and 
Neuville-St-Vaast were falling thick and fast. To effect the relief 
and reach the new positions, the men had to cross the deep Souchez 
Ravine, which was being swept by the incessant fire of the machine- 
guns posted in Souchez and ficouloirs Wood. A boyau - — the In- 
ternational Trench — crossed it, but the German Sin. shells levelled 
it as fast as the sappers of the division could make it. 

On the 21st., the bombardment increased in fury. On the 22nd, at 
2 a. m., the enemy launched a violent attack with an entire division. 
Thanks to the macliine-gunners and also to the artillery-men, who 
for five days, in spite of fatigue, loss of sleep, the bombardment, and 
the bursting of some of their overworked guns, kept up a galling 
fire, it was thought for a moment that the German attack would fail. 

However, the enemy had managed to slip in, at the base of the 
pocket, thereby threatening the communications between the French front 
and rear lines. To avoid a disaster, the danger had to be parried at 
once. The situation was critical, and the Zouaves were called for. 
Although they had only just been relieved, and had scarcely reached 
the rear, they returned at once to the front, with their leader, Colonel 

The Site nf the 
CaDai-et Rouge. 



ffpi^^*'' 




The Cabaret Kougk, ox the N. ;i7 



Modelon. After a short preparation by a trench battery of 58's, 
they dashed forward. The enemy was held, and the pocket evacuated 
during the following night. Thus this new attack failed. 

The sector — a hideous place, where the men, surrounded by rot- 
ting dead, lived in a pestilent atmosphere — was gradually organized. 

The violence of the enemy's bombardment was maintained. Day 
and night, the Gin. and Sin. shells pounded the Cabaret Rouge, Souchez 
Cemetery and the Chemin des Pylones. 

From the crest, the enemy could see every movement of the French. 
It was only possible to move along the trenches at night. The wound- 
ed had to remain where they were until dark, with temporary 
dressings. Stretcher-bearers removed the dead under the cover of night. 

On the night of July 12, a hail of gas shells fell on Souchez Cemetery, 
followed by an attack. In spite of a counter-attack by the 57th 
Battalion of Chasseurs, the cemetery was surrounded and lost. 

The Operations during September 1915. 

A general offensive was decided upon for the different fronts in 
Champagne, in conjunction with a feint attack in Artois. 

Instead of repeating the furious bombardment of May 9, the cross- 
roads, trenches, organizations and houses were now subjected to a 
slow, carefully calculated pounding, with constant verifications as to 
range and effect. Instead of seeking to take the enemy by surprise, 
their positions were to be methodically destroyed. The preparation 
began on September 18. 

The 77th Division were to carry Souchez, then cross Ecouloirs 
Ravine and scale the Ridge, with the help of the 70th Division. To 
the north of Souchez, the 21st Corps were to attack the slopes of 
Lorette, towards Angres. On the south, the 3rd Corps (55th and 
Gth Divisions), in front of Neuville-St-Vaast, were to attack Hill 140 
and Folic Farm. 

The weather became uncertain. On the evening of the 24th, a vio- 
lent storm transformed the trenches into ditches of mud. The men 
were wet through, and weighed down by the mud on their clothes 
and boots. 

" On the 25th, the bombardment increased, but did not equal in 
intensity that of May 9. The enemy had devined our intentions, and 
for the past week had retaliated with 3, 6 and Sin. shells, which lev- 
elled the trenches and parallels of departure. In many places, the 
narrow boyaux were choked with dead. 

" The bombardment grew more intense... At 12.15 p. m., the 
attack began. 

" All the men " went over ", but it was no longer the fine human 
wall of May 9. The ground was in a terrible state of upheaval. Stumbl- 
ing along, now floundering in the rhell-holes, the men painfully made 
their way across the infernal chaotic waste. The rifles and machine- 
guns crackled incessantly... Our own artillery roared behind us, the 
shells flying above our heads and bursting everywhere. One could 
see nothing, understand nothing. With a whirl of smoke and flame 
before their eyes, and the deafening roar in their ears, the men went 
blindly on. Odd details only could be distinguished : a destroyed 
patch of wire, the clod of earth over which one ^tumbled, Germans 
standing upright and throwing grenades, a capped officer firing madly... 
a shol, and he falls, etc. 

" Yel one liad I he impression of beinij; alone. On the riglil, a few 



89 



Lorelei 2y^oept. 




lira/ 



y.M if ^:'p^: %^ 






The attack ox Hill 119 in September 1915. 
Souchez was taken, hid everijiohere else the Attach failed. 

isolated beings, lilvc one's self ; on the left, three or four jyoiliis lying 
flat in a shell-hole, and firing straight in front of them. Behind, wound- 
ed everywhere. 

" Souchez village required two more days to conquer. The assailants 
were held in front of the Cemetery, with very heavy casualties. Fur- 
ther south, the companies which had crossed the bottom of iScou- 
loirs Ravine were unable to hold their ground. Exposed to machine- 
gun fire on their right, and from the slopes of Hill 119, on their 
front, their left uncovered, the men, lying flat on their bellies in the 
mud, crawled back, one by one, over the corpses, to the first enemy line 
conquered, where the survivors held their ground with great difficulty. 

" Evening fell, with the rain still coming down. The trenches were 
filled with dead and wounded. The attacking battalions were scat- 
tered in the shell-holes of the ploughed-up ground. Mud and blood 
were everywhere " (Captain Humbert's La Division Barbot.) 

The attack was resumed on the following days. Souchez was cap- 
tured, whilst further to the right, in front of Neuville-St-Vaast, the 
troops of the 3rd Corps, after crossing a hollow, reached the orchards 
of Folie Farm. However, the men were extenuated with fatigue, 
and a violent counter-attack forced them back to their lines. 

Fresh attempts on September 28 against Hill 119, by the 60th, 
61st, and 57th Battalions of Chasseurs, failed with heavy losses 
on the crest, in front of the formidable Bremen Trench, whose barbed 
wire entanglements on the counter-slopes were intact, whilst its 
machine-guns swept the glacis. 

Battalions and regiments relieved one another at the foot of the 
slopes of Hill 119 and along Souchez Ravine, in front of Neuville- 
St-Vaast — a truly hidcou-^ sector, where Death and Mud reigned 
supreme. " Each night, in front of the Cabaret Rouge, the dead were 
loaded on carts, while'^thc "companies going up the line passed by long 
rows of other dead awailing Ihcir turn to be removed. " 



90 




0m 



The British Attack of April 1917. {The whole of Vimy Ridge was conquered.). 



The Capture of Vimy Ridge {April 1917). 

In the Spring of 1916, the British extended tlieir line of trenches 
towards the Somme, and relieved tlie Frencli in the sector of Arras, 
whilst during the following Winter, the front of attack was strengthen- 
ed and powerfully equipped. 

Putting to profit the experience gained at Verdun and on the Som- 
me, more precise methods of attack were adopted, and the material 
means, especially the artillery, were heavily reinforced. 

Vimy Ridge, including Hill 119, was at last to be conquered. 

The honour of this arduous task was reserved for the British 1st 
Army (Home), more especially the Canadian Corps (Byng), compris- 
ing the 1st (Currie), 2nd (Burstall), 3rd (Lipset) and 4th (Watron) 
Divisions. 

The British guns, firing in rafales of extreme violence, ploughed up 
the German defences, the wire entanglements of which were a hundred 
yards deep in places. 

For the first time, the British utilised the indirect fire of thousands 
of machine-guns which, grouped in batteries, sent a hail of bullets 
over the German lines. This fire, added to the^bombardment, made 
the revictualling of the enemy impossible. 

.^t dawn, on April 9, a hurricane of shells fell on the enemy's lines 



91 

and batteries. I lie number of the British guns was such that, had 
they been placed i i line, their wheels would have touched, along the 
whole battle-front. 

In the early morning mist and rain, red, green and white rockets 
went up from the German trenches • — urgent appeals for protecting 
barrages and reinforcements. The rain was now falling heavily, 
accompanied by a violent wast wind. At 5.30, the Canadians left their 
holes, and began to scale the slopes of the ridge. Neither the foul 
weather, nor the sticky ground affected their hnc dash. 

In forty minutes, three lines of trenches were carried, and the first 
objectives : Folic Farm and the hamlet of Les Tillenls were conquered. 




British Cemetery at the Cabaret Rouge, on the N. 37. 

The first wave of assaulting troops established itself on the new 
positions, the second wave sweeping on and descending the slopes 
of the ridge. Hill 132 (or Telegraph Hill), then Farbus Village were 
carried. A number of guns were taken in the village and neigh- 
bouring wood. The Germans resisted stoutly in the numerous redoubts 
on the counter-slopes. Those who had taken refuge in the chalk- 
pits and in two tunnels, were captured. A desperate counter-attack 
by enemy reinforcements, to win back the lost positions, spent itself 
with terrible losses, against the stubborn resistance of the Canadians. 
The struggle was particularly bitter at the northern end of the crest, 
held by the 4th Division, and continued with unabated fury through- 
out the night. The next day, the summit was wrested from the 
enemy's grip. 

The whole ridge was now in the hands of the Canadians, together 
with some 5,000 prisoners, a hundred officers, 50 guns, 125 machine- 
guns and a large quantity of material of all kinds. 

After visiting Hill 119, take the N. 37 again, at Souchez Cemetery. 

At the second turning (1 km. from the cross-roads with the stone cross), 
nn the left-hand side of the road, used to stand the Cabaret Rouge {photo 
p. 87). Attention is needed to discover, amid I he upturned ground, 
the cellar of this inn, which was transformed into a blockhouse. It 



92 




Thk Crossi::^o op the If. 37 with the 6. C. 49 at La Takgette. 
The car is turning into the G. C. 49, towards Neuville-St-Vaast. 

is the last remaining vestige of the phice, for ever famous, on account 
of the furious combats which took place there in 1915. 

The N. 37 continues straight ahead {photo p. 83). On the right, extends 
a plain which the Germans fortihed, between Carency and La Tar- 
gette, with trenches and strong-points. The chalky parapets of these 
defences, which were visible to the French, caused the place to become 
known as the Ouvrages blancs. 

To the left of the road rise the western slopes of Vimy Ridge. 

Continuing along the N. 37, La Targette is soon reached (4 kms. 
from Souchez). The place is a shapeless mass of ruins. Take the road 
on the left (G. C. 49, photo above] to Neuville-St-Vaast. 




BAKKICADE across the KOAD at IjA Takuette. 



93 




^EUVILLE-b'J:- V AAST IN JlriNS. 



NEUVILLE-SAINT-VAAST. 



Until May 1915, the French first lines were 2 V knis. from the 
western outskirts of Neuville-St-Vaast and 1 I kms. from the southern 
outskirts. On May 9, regiments belonging to two divisions of the 
20th corps received orders to carry this strongly fortified village, de- 
scribed by an officer, who took part in the attacks, as " a mass of ma- 
chine-guns and mine-throwers ". 

At 10 a.m., the order to attack was given. An hour-and-a-half 
later, the western and southern oustkirts were reached, four lines of 
trenches, the village of La Targette and several outlying isolated defences 
having been carried. (See map, p. 94). 




Temi'or.\rt School among theruins of__Neuville-St-Vaast (March 1920). 



94 




The Capture of Xeuville-St-Vaast (May 9 — June 9, 1915). 



However, the 
enemy's resistance 
increased in propor- 
tion as the British 
penetrated into the 
village, each house 
being the scene of 
a desperate encoun- 
ter. 

During the after- 
noon, the southern 
part only of the 
village could be 
taken. To the east, 
the cemetery, where 
fierce hand-to-hand 
struggles took place 
among the shat- 
tered graves, was 
reached. It was 
twice taken, only 
to be lost again, the Germans finally remaining masters of it. 

On the following days, the fighting continued with unabated fury. 
No other village in the whole sector had been so powerfully organized 
as Neuville-St-Vaast. The cellars of all the houses had been reinforced 
with walls of concrete three to four feet thick, whilst beneath were 
shelters, proof against the heavy shells, in which the Germans hid 
themselves during the bombardments. These cellars communicated 
with one another, and it was thus possible to go underground from 
one end of the village to the other. Behind loop-holes, level with 
the ground, machine-guns were posted, and at the cross-roads the 
houses were flanked with concrete shelters, in which the defenders 
were locked up with their machine-guns. 

On May 15, after five days of uninterrupted fighting, the Germans 
were driven out of the main quarter of Neuville, although they still 
remained strongly entrenched in the whole of the northern part and 
in a few blocks of houses in the west of the village. Their resistance 
was such that the artillery had literally to pulverise each house. Until 
June 9, the communique mentioned the name of Neuville-St-Vaast 
each day, telling in laconic phrase of the furious attacks by which, one 
by one, the last centres of resistance were captured. 

Take the G. C. 49 through the entirely destroyed village, to the ruins 
of the church — a mere heap of debris — on the left, near the entrance 
to a street. Turn left into this street to visit, 1 h kms further on, the 
mine craters on Hill 119, to the north-east of Neuville-St-Vaast. 

At the exit from the village, there used to be a fork in the road, the 
left-hand branch of which (G. G. 55) led to Givenchy. It was destroyed 
by the fighting in 1915, and all traces of it were swept away. Keeping 
straight ahead, English signboards are soon reached, indicating the 
position of the mine craters. The largest, known as the Twins Cra- 
ter {photo p. 95), is about 50 yards to the left of the road. 

All this district was terribly devastated by the shells. The trenches 
have fallen in, and are now scarcely distinguishable from the shell- 
holes. Although the road continues towards Folic Farm and Petit- 
Vimy, it was impracticable for cars at the beginning of 1920. 



95 



65CRATER 




Mine Craters near Neuville-ST-Vaast, seen jrom the road to Folic Farm. 
On the right : THE TWINS CRATER [photo below). 



Return to Neuville-St-Vaasl, turning to the right, near the ruins of 
the church, in the direction of La Targette. Outside Neuville, leave the 
La Targette Road and take the Maroeuil road (G. C. 55) on the left. At 
the junction with the Arras road (N. 37) take the latter on the left. 

To the right, inside the angle formed by the National Road and the 
Maroeuil Road, there is a Franco-British cemetery [photo, p. 96). 

Continue along the N. 37, in the direction of Arras. 




Mine Craters near Neuville-St-Vaast, 



96 



To the casl of the road, in the corn-fields, the (icniians liad construct- 
ed an apparently impregnable system of defences nearly 2 knis. long 
and extending from the neighbourhood of Ecurie to the defences of 
Neuville-St-Vaast. This position which, according to a communique, 
was " stronger than many permanent fortifications ", gained celebrity 
under the name of The Labyrinth. It was an agglomeration of 
sacks of earth and cement, forming several miles of trenches and 
boyaux which, intersecting one another in all directions, led to deep 
underground shelters. Flanked with concrete redoubts and block- 
houses, and protected by deep entanglements of barbed wire, the place 
was defended by guns under cupolas, and by machine-guns placed 
at intervals of 25 yards. 

On May 9, only a footing could be gained in the southern part of the 
Labyrinth, the artillery preparation having been too short to des- 
troy the defences. 

The attack was accordingly stopped, to allow of a new and thorough 
destruction fire being carried out. 

Bit by bit, the Labyrinth was conquered. From May 30 to June 
17, the fighting went on uninterruptedly, and was of an extremely 
desperate character. In a single day, the artillery poured nearly 
300,000 shells into the position and its approaches, i. e. nearly as many 
as were fired by the whole of the German artillery in the Franco- 
German War of "1870-1871. 

Cross the Faubourg SI. Catherine, and enter Arras by the Rue de Lens 
and Rue de Lille. 




Franco-British Cemetery neas Netjville-St-Vaast, at the 
crossi.vo of the n. 37 with the g. 0. 55. 




ARRAS -LEIMS-DOUAI -ARRAS (64 kms). 

The above itinerary crosses those regions of the north which suffer- 
ed most during the War. The Germans cut down all the trees, razed 




COURRlfiRES. 



Coal-PU 
No. 10 



"' '--•'^S«ij%'S!."^: " 



The Engine-Room, dynamited by the Germans. 




Follow the roads shown by thick lines. 



the villages lo the ground, destroyed 
the factories, carried away the machin- 
ery, and flooded the mines. 

a) From Arras to Lens {map opposite, 
17 kms.). 

Leave Arras, as per the previous itin- 
erary, but at the fork in St. Catherine, 
take the National Road which runs due 
north to Lille. The fine trees which 
formerly lined the road have been 
cut down, and small concrete shelters 
built in the ditches on either side. Pass 
RocLiNCouRT, on the right. To the 
right, massive concrete shelters mark 
the site of the completely razed village 
of Th lus. At the crossing with the 
road leading thither, is a monument 
to the memory of the Canadian artil- 
lery, on the right [photo below). Con- 
crete shelters built at the corners of 
this crossing defended the road. Further 
on, lo the left, in the fields, is a British 
cemetery, with long straight rows of 
carefully kept graves. 

The road climbs up the last crest which 
dominates the plain of Doiiai: Vimy 
Ridge. 

Tourists may go to the top of the Ridge 
and to FoLiE 1"arm (2 kms. there and 
back), by taking the earlli road (tlie 
first part of which is sunken), which 
branches off to the left, at the turning in 
the road. 







H^. ^ 







'*i*fl^^> 



Mo.«JUMENT TO THE MEMORY OP THE CAN.iDIAN DEAD. 
.it the crossing of the N. 25 (to Lens) with the G. C. 49 (to ThHus). 



Vjniy. 



99 

Telegraph Hill. 




The N. 25, WHERE IT CROSSES VlMY ElDOE. 

In the background ; Vimy Village ; on the right : Telegraph Hill. 

From the road which leads to Vimy Ridge may be seen, on the left, 
the wooded slopes in which the Germans hollowed out numerous shel- 
ters and tunnels. During their brilliant offensive of April 9-10, 1917, 
the Canadians rounded up a large number of Germans there. On 
the right begins Telegraph Hill (Hill 132). 

The road winds, in descending, and passes in front of Petit-Vimy. 

In the plain, to the right, can be seen the ruins and temporary sheds 
of Vimy. From the bottom of the hill may be seen, on the left, the 




In the ruins op Petit-Vimy, (March 1920). 



100 



ViMY 
IN 

EUINS. 




circle of heights of Hill 119, with Givenchy in the' background. Hiron 
dellc Wood, scarcely touched, crowns the northern extremity of the Ridge. 

The road continues straight ahead to Lens, passing through La Cou- 
lotte. This advanced position of Lens was the scene of furious 
fighting between the Canadians and Germans, at the end of April 1917. 

On the right, are the ruins of Avion ; on the left, Riaumont Woods 
and the ruins of the numerous corons that connected up Li^vin with Lens. 

Cross tlie Souchez, then the canal running parallel to it. By opening 
breaches in the canal banks, the Germans transformed these water- 
courses into a vast swamp, which protected their defences to the 
south of Lens. 

The tourist enters Lens by the soulliern suburb. (See plan, p. 109). 




Lens laid waste. 



101 



LEIMS. 



Originally a county, under the Counts of Flanders, Burgundy, Artois, 
and the Dukes of Burgundy, Lens belonged to Spain at the end of the 
15th century, and was only restored to France by the Treaty of the 
Pyrenees in 1659. 

Before the War, Lens numbered about 35,000 inhabitants, most of 
whom derived their livelihood from the coal industry. The substratum 
belongs to the rich coal-fields of Northern Europe, which, beginning 
near Aix-la-Chapelle and ending to the north of Boulogne, are pro- 
longed on the English side of the Channel. The seat of intense activity, 
Lens had a yearly output of some three and a half million tons of 
coal. The very life of the place, which depended almost entirely on the 
coal mines, ceased at the outbreak of the War. Occupied by the 
Germans from 1914 to October 2, 1918, the population deserted the 
city on April 13, 1917. 

Lens was literally wiped out. In the Grande Place used to stand 
the Church of St-L6ger, which contained the venerated relics of St. 
Vulgan, who died in the vicinity, in 570. The base of the tower dated 
from the 15th century, but the church proper was built in the latter 
part of the 18th century, and contained some fine wood-work of the 
same period. A heap of stones and debris now marks the site of the 
church. The miners' dwelling agglomerations (corons) were razed 
to the ground. 

Great efforts are being made to resuscitate the city. Forty- 
three powerful pumps, requiring a total force of 3,000 H. P., were or- 
dered as early as 1916, and will soon be engaged in clearing the mines. 
State plans for the building of 500 houses in 1919, 1,500 in 1920, and 
2,500 in 1921, have been drawn up. Eventually, Lens will be able to 
resume her normal industry, but many years must elapse before she 
can recover her former prosperity. 




Lens Church, in 1918 




102 




The British Push towakds Lens. (Sept. 1915.) 



The Military Operations around Lens. 

Lens was occupied by the Germans in October 1914, after tlie battles 
fought around Douai. The enemy enlarged their gains by talking the 

plateau which domin- 
ates Lens to the south- 
west (Lievin and An- 
gres), and later by the 
capture of the crests 
commanding the Plain 
of Lens : Notre-Dame- 
de-Lorettc and Vimy 
Ridge. 

In May 1915, the 
French seized the spur 
of Notre - Dame - de - 
Lorette which dominat- 
ed the corons situated 
in the Plain of Lens. 
Prior to Septemberl915, 
t he front lines ran 1 km. 
from the western out- 
skirts of Loos, crossed 
the road and the 
Hethune- Lens railway 
from north to south, took in the outskirts of Ihe Cit6 of Calonne, passing 
thence in front of Angres through the lowlands of the Buval district. 
In September 1915, the British extended their lines as far as the 
outskirts of the corons of Calonne Pit. From here, they could see, 
rising before them, the smoke from the high chimney-stacks of the 
Lens coal-mines, which were then being actively exploited by the 
Germans, who forced the local miners to work for them. 

The Lens front was attacked on the 25th by the British and French 
operating in liaison. 

After an intense artillery preparation, the British dashed forward 
along a 6-mile front. 

Several lines of trenches were taken, the attacking troops advancing 
to within about two miles of Lens. Passing the powerfully fortified 
village of Loos, the British reached Hill 70, for the possession 
of which bitter fighting, lasting several days, took place. Reaching 
the Lens-Bdthune Road, their advanced line was now in contact with 
the German 3rd position. 

The British took 3,000 prisoners (including 50 officers), 21 guns 
and 40 machine-guns. 

Many of the inhabitants of Loos were freed from the German yoke, 
among others, a brave girl : fimilienne Moreau (see p. 110). 

To the south of this sector, the French captured Souchez, and ad- 
vanced in the direction of Angres and Givenchy. 

The respective lines remained fixed on these new positions through- 
out the year 1916. 

Activities broke out again suddenly, after the German retreat of 
March 1917. In the following month, the British attacked from Lens 
to the south-west of Arras, along an 18-miIe front. 



103 



llaz/jrvutes 




After llie brilliant 
successes on the Scarpe 
and the entirely recon- 
quered Vimy Ridge, 
the action extended to 
the north-east, in the 
direction of Lens. 

On April 13. Given- 
chy and Angres fell, 
whilst the day follow- 
ing, under the increas- 
ing pressure of the 
British, the Germans 
were compelled to aban- 
don la Chaudiere, Pit 
No. 6, and Bucquet Mill 
(between Givenchy and 
Angres), to the south 
of Avion. 

Meanwhile, the sali- 
ent to the west of Lens was reduced by the capture, fust of the 
double slag-heap, then of Li^vin — an important mining centre 
which, before the war, numbered 25,000 inhabitants. Between Lens 
and Li^vin stretch mining villages or corons in an unbroken line. The 
scene of the fighting was thus advanced to the outer suburbs of Lens. 

On the 14th, British units from the south of Loos occupied the 
Cit^ St. Pierre. 

During the night of April 14, they captured the German defences 
to the east of Li6vin, from Riaumont Wood to the eastern outskirts 
of the Cit6 St. Pierre. 



The British Attacks op Sept. 1915 — Aug. 1917, 
TOWARDS Lens. 




A STREET OF LENS, IN 1918. 



104 




The methodical investment of 
Lens continued, giving rise to san- 
guinary fighting. 

The ^ British advanced slowly, 
capturing the houses one by one, 
with mines and grenades. 

In the meantime, Lens and its 
suburbs were being steadily wiped 
out by the shells of the opposing 
artilleries. 

Throughout 1917, the British 
tightened their grip on the town, 
by the capture of the numerous 
cites and outlying suburbs. 

In the western part of the town, 

the Germans razed a large number 

of houses, thereby creating an open 

space, stretching from north to 

south, commanded by numerous 

machine-guns. They" also organized 

the powerful position of Sallau- 

mines, situated on the top of a hill dominating the town on the east, 

from which numerous batteries of guns pulverized the brick houses 

of the corons {map, p. 103). 

Then followed the period of the great German Offensives of March- 
July 1918, during which infantry fighting in this sector slowed down. 
On July 18, the Allies' counter-offensives began, following one another 
uninterruptedly. 

The progress made by the British and Belgian Armies, from the north 
of the Yser to the Lys, the German retreat from the sahent to the 
south of Armentieres, and the crossing of the Escaut, before Cambrai, 
by the British 3rd Army, forced the Germans, on October 3, to eva- 
cuate Lens and the dominating position of Sallaumines, under the pro- 
tection of powerful rear-guards. 



The attacks for liberating Lens. 






^j^""^-^^,;. 





The Ruins of Lens church in loio. 



1U5 



The Coal-Mines of the Pas-de-Calais during the War. 

The basin of the Pas-de-Calais — the centre of which is Lens — 
forms, with that of the Nord, the coal-fields of Northern France. 
W From October 1914 to October 1918, half of this coal area remained 
in the hands of the Germans. The front line here varied but little, 
and passed west of Lens. 

To the west of the town, the destruction caused by the German 
bombardments was slight in comparison with that wilfully wrought 
in the occupied area. Here, with the aid of technicians, the enemy 
carried out methodical destructions with all their native thoroughness, 
striking at the vital points, and making future reconstruction long, 
difficult and costly. 

The most disastrous destruction of all was the flooding of the pit- 
shafts. In the Pas-de-Calais, before the coal seam is reached, the 
shafts descend through some 400 to 500 feet of water-logged ground. 
To avoid flooding, the shafts are sunk in a special manner, being 
protected on the inside with a water-tight, cast-iron sleeve strong 
enough to resist the pressure of the water. Any breach in this pro- 
tecting iron sleeve would cause the shaft to be flooded. Before evacu- 
ating the town, the Germans exploded charges of dynamite in prac- 
tically every shaft, thereby causing most of them to be flooded. 

The German Occupation of the Coal-Fields. 

At the outset of the enemy occupation (October 1914), the German 
troops looted and, burnt several of the colliers' cites, as well as the 
offices and warehouses of several companies (Dourges, Drocourt, etc.). 

The destruction of the pit-heads situated near the battle - front 
was carried out by detachments of pioneers, who cut the cables and 
sent the cages and waggons crashing to the bottom of the shafts. They 



^ 















>.«v 




TffE I'i^JTRAN-CE TO COAL PIT NO. li, .U' ll i l;';i:S, DESTROVED BY THE GERMANS. 

The girrier-tvor/c was dynamited. 



106 



Slag lieap. 




Gevekal View of the. 



also set fire to the buildings. " Wf^/nean to ruin France' ', declared the 
officer in charge of the destructions, to one of the engineers. 

The occupation was next " organized " by requisitioning and send- 
ing to Germany everything of any industrial value : slocks of wood, 
coal, general supplies, machinery, tools, electrical plant, copper, etc. 
The work was carried out by detachments of specialists, sometimes 
under the direction of civil experts, for instance : chemists took 
samples of the products made in the factories (benzine, benzol, sulphate 
of ammonia, etc) for analysis. 

In 1915, the Germans ordered a resumption of work in those mines 
which were not as yet entirely useless, but the output was very limited. 

Tn consequence of the Allies' attacks of 1915, 1916 and 1917, the 




Coal extracting machin'e at Pit No. 1, Drococrt. 
4n unex-ploded charge of explosive is visible in the cavities above the shaft. 



107 



By-pi'oducl Woiks 




. JIlNES AT DOXTRGES. (See p. 114). 



Germans abandoned the ground, bit by bit, marking their withdrawal by : 
The evacuation of the civil population; 

The complete destruction of everything that had not previously been 
destroyed or sent away; 

The flooding of all underground installations. 

Similar destructions were carried out on a larger scale, previous 
to their final retreat of September-October 1918. 

The expert methods employed were everywhere the same : all props, 
stays, supports, girders and the like were brought down with charges 
of explosives ; the drums ofi the pit winding-machines were blown 
up with dynamite ; the compressors, fans, pumps, drum-shafts, boil- 
ers etc, shared the same fate ; the chimney-stacks were pulled down ; 
the protecting iron sleeves of the pit shafts was smashed with explo 
sives. The two shafts of Pit No. 8 at B^thune, and Pit No. 9 at 




THE Water- Works and chimney of Pit No. i, at Drocourt. 



108 




By-prouuct Works of (joal-fits Nos. 2 and 2 bis, at Doukges, 
Blown up by the Germans (see p. 114). 



Courrieres were completely destroyed by the explosion of mines which 
left enormous craters. 

In several places which the Germans had to evacuate in a hurry, 

the destructions were only partial. On entering, the Allies found 

notices indicating the points where charges of explosive were to be 
fired, and the quantity of explosive lo be used. 




COAL-PiT AND SCREENING INSTALLATION AT DROCOURT, iiKSTROYED Wild 
EXPLOSIVES BY THfl GERMANS. 



109 




1 R BoUaert 

2 Boul. dea Ecoles 

3 Grand'Place 

4 R. de Lille 

5 — de Douai 

6 Rte de Douai 

7 R d'Arras 

8 Rte d'Arras 

9 R de Bfethune 
10 Rte de B^thune 



11 Rte de la Basste 

12 R, de Londres 

13 - Emile Zola 

14 - du Wetz 

15 — D6crombecque 

16 Av. du 4 Soptembre 

17 R^ FSlix Faure 

18 - Casimir Beugnet 

19 — d'Annat 

20 - du 14 Juillet 



21 R de lAbattoir 

22 Quai da Canal 

23 R. Berthelot 

24 - de la Gare 

25 - de la Pnix 
23 - de Li6vin 
27 - du Bois 

23 -de la Bataille 

29 - de rfiglise 

30 PI. St Leonard 



PiiAN OF Lens, before the War. 

Note : Tourists coming from Arras by the N. 95 {p. 98) enter Lens (p. 100) by Hip 
Route and Rue d'Arras (8 and 1 on plan) and the hue Bollaiirt (1 on plan). 

To visit Loos and Hill 10 {p. 110), talie the Rue de Bithune, on the left (^ on plan). 

Return to Lens (p. 112) by the Roiile de la Bassie (11 on plan) and the Rue BoUai-rl 

(1 on plan). Take the Boulevard des Ecoles (v) on the left, cross the Grand'Plare (3), 

turning to the left, beyond the ruined church, into the Rue de Douai (5) continued by 

the N. 43 as far as Douai (p. 11-2). 



At Pit No. 7, Courrieres, a roll of canvas was found to contain a 
plan showing which buildings were to be mined, and other documents 
indicating the quantity of explosives to be used for each operation. 

The reconstruction of the mines is a formidable task, entailing tlie 
rebuilding of the different plants and the workmen's dwelling-houses, 
whilst the majority of the mines in the Pas-de-Calais (at Lens, Lie- 
vln, Drocourt, Courrieres, Carvin, and Meurchin) will have to be pump- 
ed out and repaired. This work will require several years to complete. 



Lens' War Decoration. 

The Croix de la Legion d'Honneur and the Croix de Guerre have been 
conferred on Lens, with the following mention : 

Glorious City, which may be cited as an example of heroism and patri- 
otic faith. Falling into German hands at the beginning of the inva- 
sion of 1914, was in turn, for four years, both witness and stake in 
a merciless struggle. Organised by the enemy into a formidable defensive 
stronghold, partially liberated by an Allied Offensive, mutilated and crushed 
in the course of incessant fighting, never doubted the Country's destiny. 



110 



From Lens to Loos and Hill 70. {Sketch below, 12 1 kms). 

On entering Lens, the road from Arras crosses the railway (1. c). // 

the level-crossing is closed, a passage under the railway, on the left may 

be taken, which leads back to the road. ' 

Continue along the N. 25, which becomes the Rue d' Arras and the Rue Bol- 

laert. At the fork, beyond the temporary Chapelle 

du Bon-Secours, take the left-hand (Bethune) 

road (N. 43) which rises towards Hill 69. 

On the right, are the ruins of the Cit6 
St. Auguste; on the left, those of Cit^ St. Pierre. 
Beyond is the double slag-heap of Pit No. 11 
(photo below). 

The road descends. Take the first road, on 
the right, to Loos (G. C. 165). The great 
slag-heap of Pit No. 15, with its broken cranes, 
comes into view. 

Loos, a kind of suburb of Lens, shared 
the latter's fate. A native girl — fimiJienne 
Moreau — received the Croix de Guerre, with mention in the Army 
Orders, for her brave conduct. The daughter of a miner, she remained 
at Loos throughout the first part of the occupation, until the first 
capture of the place by the British in 1915, nursing the British wounded 
and saving several of them from the German prisons. 

Leaving the Church on the left, keep straight along the Hulluch road. 
2 i kms. further on, the road from Lens to La Bassee (G. C. 33) is 
reached, which take on the right. 

Hill 70, which dominates the surrounding country, is soon 
reached. In September 1915, after taking Loos, the British encounter- 
ed the formidable positions on Hill 70, which they eventually carried 
after very hard fighting. 





The double slag-heap of Pit No. 11. 



Ill 




Loos, SEEN FROM THE RUINED CHURCH. 

A few days later, the sector of Loos was taken over by the French 
9th Corps, and held by them throughout the Winter of 1915-1916. 

It was on this hill that, in 1648, the great Cond^, facing towards 
Lens, crushed the; last remnants of the same redoubtable Spanish 
infantry which, several years previously, he had beaten at Rocroi. 

The road descends to Lens. Stop the car near some deep quarries. 
It is from here that one obtains the best general view of the exten- 
sive ruins of Lens and its suburbs — a striking example of absolute 
devastation. 

In September 1918, the Allies' and enemy lines crossed this hill. 








^^^MT: 



Lens. Temporary huts and Chapel in the rue Boi.laert. 



112 



Cil6 SI. I'lon-fi. 



Gilo Sl-Au(;usle. 



^^ 




liENS. — Seen from the kuins. 

From Lens to Douai, via Henin-Lietard {sketches, p. 113, 20 kms.) . 

Returning from Loos and Hill 70, Lens is entered by ihe Rue Bollaert. 
Turn left, into the Boulevard des Ecoles, which leads to the Grand'Place. 
The large heap of bricks and stones in the Square is all that the bom- 
bardments have left of Lens Church {photo p. 104). Turn to the 
right, beyond the church, into the Rue de Douai {see plan, p. 109). 
Keep straight along ihe N. 43 towards Douai. 



IfeSIN-LlfiTARI) 

Chukch. 





r; 


'^- '' _ -^ - 


'% 



113 



Ortranisalions on Hill 53. 




OF THE Church in 1919. 




The road rises to- 
wards Sallaumines 
Crest, on which the 
enemy's second line 
of positions was estab- 
lished. Behind these 

positions, among the corons, are numerous battery emplacements. 

The road next passes through Billy-Montigny and its corons. On 

reaching H^nin-Lietard, turn to the left. About 200 yards further on, 

turn to the right, 

to the P lace de f^ff~j^^^r~^^Z^ ^ 

I'Eglise. At the ^^y&»..><&aipit Ji 

church, turn left 

again, and follow 

the Douai road. 

After leaving 
Henin-Li^tard, and 
150 yards beyond 
the level- crossing, 
will be seen, to the 
left of the road, the 
buildings of Pit 
No. 2, belonging to 
the Dourges Mines 
{photos p. 105-108). 




114 



To visit this pit, apply to the Bureaux de la Direction {on the right). 
Visiting, with a guide, is allowed every afternoon from 1 to 4 o'clock. 
Continue along the N. 43 to Douai. 




War Decoration of Douai. 



Douai was awarded the Croix de la Legion d'Honneur, with the 
following mention : 

City cruelly tried by four years of a merciless occupation. Derived 
from her patriotism the force to bear all her sufferings, and to prepare, 
so far as in her lay, for her return to former prosperity. 



115 




DouAi. Old Bngravino. 



DOUAI. 

For centuries a subject of discord, Douai was taken time and again 
by the Flemish, Spaniards and French, being finally united to France 
by the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713. To commemorate the town's 
victorious resistance against Louis XI, in 1479, it was the custom, 
until the late war, to hold a kind of Carnival each year in July, 
known as the Fete de Gayant. Gayant, an armed giant warrior 
of wicker-work, was carried in procession through the town. Douai 
lost much of its importance in 1887, when its University was transferred 
lo Lille. The city ramparts were pulled down in 1891, but two of the 
gates — " Arras " and " Valenciennes " — still exist. 

This ancient Flemish city gave birth to the following notable per- 
sons : Jean Bellegambe, painter, deceased about 1540 ; Jean de Boul- 
longue, sculptor (1524-1608) ; Mme. Desbordes-Valmore, poet (1785- 
1859) ; the political leaders Galonne (1734-1802) and Martin du Nord 
(1790-1847). But the most famous of all the natives of Douai was 
undoubtedly Lesurques, convicted of robbing the Lyons Mail Coach 
and beheaded in 1796, but as to whose presumed guilt doubts still 
exist. 

Douai during the War. 

Throughout the War, Douai was occupied by the Germans. The 
French Senate reported on the town's fate, as follows : 

Here, the pilla</in(f was carried out with even greater thoroughness, 
if that were possible. The entire population was evacuated, without 
any regard for the aged and infirm. A judge, 60 years of age, was per- 
mitted to use a wlieelbarrow, to carry away a few personal effects. Loot- 
ing began immediately afterwards, and was carried to the last extremes, 
after whicfi the Germans left the toivn and bombarded it at sltnrt range. 



116 



The following notice, which was posted up in Douai on September 2, 
1918, at 5 p. m., on the eve of the enemy's withdrawal, proves that the 
pillaging was organized and executed by order of the German High Com- 
mand. 

There can be no question here of isolated acts of marauding 
soldiers. It was a veritable enterprise of brigandage, carried out with 
that thoroughness of which the Germans are so proud. 

(Notice posted up in Douai at 5 p. m., September 2, 1918, tlie day 
before the Germans withdrew). 

In view of the heavy bombardment, the population of Douai will be 
evacuated. 

The entire contents of all the houses are confiscated by the General 
Kommando. 

Specially organized booty companies will collect all articles necessary 
for the needs of the war, and forward them to the Fatherland, in conform- 
ity with orders. 



Douai. 



The General Kommando 




Douai. 



Explosion of a German Mine on the railway. 



President Poincare, when decorating tlie City, traced in moving 
words the events through which it lived from 1914 to 1918. 

On August 20, 1914, General d' A made, Commander-in-Chief of the 
81s/, _ 82nd, and 84th Territorial Divisions, gave orders to establish a 
barrier from Dunkirk to Maubeuge, in an attempt to dam the rising wave 
of invasion which was threatening you. On the 23rd, enemy patrols 
were signalled a few kilometres from Douai. It seemed as if the 82nd 
Division would be able to withstand the attack. Unfortunately, the sector 
on the right, having suddenly given way in the region of Tournai, the 



117 




DouAi. President PoiNOARfi leaving the HdTKL-DE-ViLLE. 



troops defending you were compelled to full back on Arras, and your 
ton.' suddenly left without a garrison, without railway, postal or tele- 
gidfihic communication, and deprived of all resources, experienced a 
feeling of isolation and abandonment. 

You expected immediately to become the prey ol the enemy. However, 
the German Army retarded its occupation of Douai. At first, only rapid 
incursions and short stays were made, but these sufficed to give you a 
bitter foretaste of the regime that was menacing you. On September 29, 
you had the joy of acclaiming the troops of the garrison of Dunl<irk, who 
were seeking to establish a liaison, to the north of the Scarpe, with the 
Cavalry Corps of General de Mitry, then making dispositions for your 
defence. But they had scarcely taken up their positions when, attacked 
by strong columns, they were forced to evacuate the town. That was on 
October 1. 25,000 civilians had remained in Douai, and they called on 
France for help. Together, they had witnessed the departure of our 
troops ; together, they had witnessed their return ; together they had await- 
ed deliverance ; together, they had seen their supreme hopes melt away. 
Douai fell into the hands of the Germans, and remained four years under 
their yoke. 



118 




Testing-Shop in the Arbel Wouks. 



Genllcmen, as a child, 1 lived Ihroucjh the occupation oj 1870. It 
was nothing compared with the one you have sustained. In that other 
war, the invaded regions were not entirely cut off from the remainder of 
the country. News from the outside reached us. All circulation was 
not prohibited. The ways of the occupying troops were hard and haughty, 
yet, with rare exceptions, they were not barbarous. The inhabitants 
suffered, but in spite of all, they did not feel themselves torn from the 
Nation's life. This time, Gentlemen, you have been treated differently. 
You have been, as it were, enclosed in a tomb, and the stone has been sealed 
over your heads. 

As your city remained throughout the hostilities within the zone of the 
military operations, it has constantly been crowded with staffs, officers 
and troops of all arms, who have seized your houses, relegated you to odd 
corners, and reduced you to the state of strangers in your own homes. 

As time passed, the methods of the occupying troops, far from soften- 
ing and becoming more humane, increased in grossness and violence. 
Military perquisitions followed one another in your homes. Irritating 
requisitions multiplied. The machinery of the factories was carried 
off. Under a variety of pretexts, the town was constantly laid under 
contribution to a total of more tlian thirty millions. 

Refusal, delay, hesitation or reserve entailed immediate and terrible 
reprisals. No matter, you stood firm. And when the Germans ordered 
you to deliver up your copper and thus compel occupied France to help 
them manufacture their munitions of war ; when they sought to force 
llie population to do work of a military character, your Mayor, interpret- 
ing the public conscience, protested witli dignity against this abuse of 
force. 



119 





DESTllUCTION OF THE A I; BEL WOKKS. 



Immcdialeli), fines and arrests were rained on the town. In the dead 
of night, men were taken by hundreds from their beds and sent to Disci- 
pline Battalions, where, by a regime of privations and ill-treatment, it 
was purposed to break their spirit and force them to work. 

At the same time it appeared that, in despair of breaking your will 
directly, the enemy sought to destroy your mental energy, by undermin- 
ing your health. As early as January 1, 1915, you were informed that 
meat would in future be reserved for the troops, and you were forbidden 
to touch it. Corn and flour were soon requisitioned, fruit and vegetables 
were monopolised, poultry and the very bee-hives were seized. The peo- 
ple were restricted to a pitiful ration, and the generous efforts of the Span- 
ish-American Committee were unable to compensate the disastrous effects 
of this food control. The people were sticken with ansemia, the old 
jolks died, the children wasted away, still your confidence and firmness re- 
mained unshaken. 

Night and day, bombs and shells fell in the town, swelling the number 
of the dead and wounded. Hostages were taken from among you. Your 
valiant women were sent to Holzminden. Men of all ages were deported 
to Germany, and others were sent, in the depth of winter, to distant parts 
of Russia. Some died in captivity, others returned dying from ill-treat- 
ment. Yet nothing could shake Doiiai, or enfeeble your tenacity. 

Gentlemen, September 1918 marked the last and hardest stage of your 
Calvary. On the 2nd, feeling themselves pressed on all sides, the Ger- 
mans ordered Douai to be evacuated, but took no steps to facilitate the oper- 
ation. Only the sick and infirm were taken in barges to St. Amand. 
All other persons had to go on foot, driven along by the soldiers like 
herds of cattle. 

Scarcely had you left, when organized looting began, and several quar- 
ters of the town were set on fire with incendiary pastilles and serpentines. 



120 



At the visible approach oj final defeat^ the Germans yaue free play to their 
pirate instincts. Instantly, everything capable of being transported 
was carried off, and the rest destroyed where it stood. On October 12, 
the British 1st Army fought its way into your suburbs. Retarded se- 
veral days by the inundations spread by the enemy to the north-west, they 
entered the town on the nth, only to find it sacked and empty 



A Visit to the Town (See plan, p. 114). 



Only the pedestals of the monuments remain. The bronze statues 
in the Place de I'Herilly [Jean de Boullongne) and the Place Thiers were 
melted down by the Germans, as were most of the statues in the 
north of France. 

The most interesting, i. e. the archaeological quarter of Douai is 
mainly situated on the right bank of the Scarpe, which river divides 
the town from south to north. On the left bank, practically the only 
building of interest is the Church of St. Jacques. To reach same, take 
the Rue St. Samson, on the left, at the end of the Rue d'Esquerchin, then the 
first street on the left, and finally the Rue des Rdcollets-Anglais, on the 
right. Built in 1706, the church was enlarged and completed in 1852- 
1856. Formerly the Church of the R^collets-Anglais (English Fran- 
ciscan Friars), it contains an interesting 16th century painting of 
The Passion. Over the high-altar, a piece of gilt wood carving, re- 
presenting Le Saint-Sacrement de Miracle, recalls how, in 1252, a conse- 
crated wafer fell down in 
the Church of St. Ame 
during the Consecration, 
and miraculously returned 
of its own accord to the 
altar. 

Opposite the Church of 
St. Jacques, take the street 
which, after crossing the 
Scarpe, leads to the Palais 
DE Justice, formerly an 
asylum belonging to the 
Abbey of Marchiennes. 
On the right of the facade, 
a small tierce-point door 
recalls the original 16th 
century building, on the 
site of which the present 
edifice was erected. The 
fafade, which was rebuilt 
between 1784 and 1789, 
is ornamented with allego- 
rical figures of "Justice" 
and " Truth ", between 
which are the Tables of the 
Law. Above the windows 
are sculptured bas-reliefs, 
the last one of which, on 
the right, was destroyed 
Dor.«. Church of St. Pierre a.vd ancient House. by shell-fire. 





121 



/ 



I-ll_: 




Going towards the Church of St. Pierre, 
by the Rue du Clocher-St-Picrre, the tourist 
passes a block of houses in ruins. Close 
to a small 16th century wooden house 
of no particular interest, is a fragment 
of wall with fine windows ■ — all that 
remains of the iMaison des Re.my, a 
charming 16th century mansion des- 
troyed during the War (photos opposite 
and below). 

The Church of St. Pierre was rebuilt 
in the 18th century (photu p. 120). 
The vaulting of one of its chapels(thal 
of the Sacr6-Ca?ur) was partly des- 
troyed. Before leaving, the Germans 
sacked it. 

The fine organ case, dating from 1760, 
was left behind, but the pipes were 
smashed to bits with hammers. The 
debris were found scattered about near 
the porch, with chasubles, altar cloths, 
etc., when the town was retaken. The 
graceful wrought-iron railing round the 
choir, and several mural paintings in 
the different chapels are worthy of 
note. In the Chapel of the Dome, 
an Annunciation, by Eisen, an Assump- 
tion, by Lagren^e, and several other paintings, 1 
been damaged by the damp. 

The Rue St. Jacques, on the lejt, beyond the Church oj St. Pierre, leads to 
the Rue Fortier, in which is the Museum. The three wings of the build- 
ing look out on a court-yard, ornamented with a small garden. The 
works of art were removed by the Germans first to Valenciennes, and 
thence to Brussels. The Allies' victory caused them to be returned. 
The folding leaves of a triptych, painted by Jean Bcllegambe, repre- 
senting The 
Immaculate 
Conception, 
and taken 
from the 
Church of St- 
Jean-en-Ron- 
ville. Arras, 
are of inter- 
est. The 
cat alogue 
contains the 
names of 
Ldonard de 
Vinci, Le 
Guerchin, 
Bellini, Le 
Dominiquin , 
Le Guide, Le 
Bassan, Van 



;\\AIS0N- UES KKMY, lit, HUE Clocheii- 

St-Pierre, before the W.\r. 

unfoiiunately 








Maisun des RfiMY, IN 1919. 



122 




DouAi Museum. Ready for Berlin 
Interrupted by the Allies, the Germans had to Uaee these art treasures behind. 



Orley, Van tier Weyden, Hans Holbein, Rubens, David Teniers and 
Breughel. The modern painters included Corot, Courbet, Harpignies 
and Rajjaelli. The rich and famous library, founded in 1767, contains 
over 90,000 volumes, including numerous early editions and MSS. 

Return along the Rue Fortier to the Rue St. Jacques ; take the same 
to the right, then turn left into the Rue Victor-Hugo. On the right, at 
No. 14, is the Hotel Pamart, dating from 1729. On the left, are the 
School of Fine Arts and the School of Master-Miners, both 18th 
century buildings. The pediment over the entrance and part of the 
outbuildings of the latter school have fallen down. 

ToAe the Rue Frangois-Cuvelle, then the Rue du Canteleux, on the left, 
in which is the General Hospital. The pediment overlooking the street 
is adorned with a finely carved group of figures. That of the chapel 
in the court-yard is ornamented with a scroll dating from 1756. 

To the right of the General Hospital, in the Boulevard Faidherbe, is the 
Valenciennes Gate (1459). The passage between the towers has 
been restored. This Gate is a vestige of the ancient ramparts. Not 
far from the Valenciennes Gate, and a few yards from the Public Garden, 
stands the Cathedral of Notre-Dame. The nave and side-aisles 
are 13 th century, the transept and choir 14 th century, whilst the 
facade dates from the middle of the 19th century. The altar came 
from the Convent of the Carthusian Friars. A Christ on the knees 
of his mother, attributed to Van Dyck, is on the left-hand side of 
the choir. The famous altar-piece of Anchin, carried off, like many 
of the other works of art, has been returned to its place in the sa- 
cristy, where it has so often been admired and studied. The work 
of Jean Bellegambe, it was ordered by Charles Coguin, Abbot of An- 
chin (1511-1546). It was removed to Douai during the Revolution 



123 




DouAi. The H6TEL de Ville and Belfry. 



and sold piecemeal. Dr Escallier, who bequeathed il to the Cathedral, 
was able to reconstitute it in its entirety. Consisting of nine panels, 
several of which are movable, it represents The Triumph of the Cross 
(closed) and The Triumph of the Trinity (open). Two hundred and 
lifty-four figures of apostles and saints are depicted, amid archi- 
tectural motifs of extremely elaborate detail. 

The Rue de Valenciennes, opposite the Valenciennes Gate, leads to the 
Place d'Armes, which was severely damaged [photos, p. 124^. Before 
evacuating the town, the Germans mined the whole of this neighbour- 
hood. However, the Hotel du Dauphin, at No. 16, with its line wrought- 
iron balcony, escaped injury, but the other houses, opposite, suffered 
severely. Of the 18th century house which used to stand at No. 33, 
nothing remains but a heap of debris. 

The HoTEL-DE-ViLLE [photo above), the entrance to whicli is in the Rue 
de la Mairie, on the right (entirely destroyed), has a five-storied belfry, 
150 feet high. It is flanked on either side by a symmetrical fafade. 
That on the left dates from 1857-1860 ; the right-hand one, from the 
15th century. There is a large tierce-point door, between two smaller 
ones, in each facade. The first floor of each facade is pierced with 
eight windows, between which are canopied niches on pedestals. 
Of these, the more ancient lost their statues of the Counts of Flanders 
during the Revolution ; the others never had any. In the interior 
is the Salle de la Rotonde, formerly the Chapel of the Aldermen, access 
to which is gained by a fine monumental staircase. The vaulting 



124 




DouAi. The Place d'Armes before the War. 

of this room stands on a tlultnl nionolilhic stone column, with spirals, 
twenty-three feet high. 

Follow the Rue de la JMairie, as far as the Place Thiers. There ioke the 
Rue des Foulons, on the left, passing some fine old houses : that at No 14 
is in ruins; No. 20, Hotel de Gov or de la Tramerie, is 17th cenluiy. 
No. 31, Hotel de Marc du Hem, baihff of Douai in the 16th century (the 
facade is of no particular interest). Turn left, into the Rue de la Comedie, 
in which stands the Theatre. At No. 4 is a fine 18th century house with 




.^_J_fw^^J».^,^_^^lBd-., «»^, «i«1ailJ|llli|P| 



''ffM. i 



i 



l>ul_ Al. I hi ri,\CK 



Armes in 1919. 



125 



a graceful entrance facing the street. The facade in the court-yard 
is ornamented with four statues. Opposite the Theatre begins the Rue 
de rUniversitc, at No. 13 of which, is the Hotel Acad^mique, dating 
from 1628. The Faculties of Literature and Law were formerly housed 
here. During the German occupation, the building served as the 
Head-Quarters of the Spanish-American Revictualling Committee. 
On leaving the Rue de I' Universite, pass behind the Hotel de Ville, and 
take the Rue de Paris on the lejt, coming out into the Rue de la Mairie again. 
Take the same to the left, cross the Place Thiers, then the River Scarpa over a 
temporary bridge. Take the Rue de la Cloche, then the Rue du Samson (on the 
left] and its continuation, the Rue d' Arras. The latter comes to an end at 
the ancient Arras Gate, which was formerly part of the city ramparts. 

c) From Douai to Arras (27 kms). 
Map below [Douai-Gavrelle] and page 126 [Gavrelle- Arras) . 




Folhw the roads thown hy OiUih lines. 

Leave Douai by the Route d' Arras {N. 50) crossing the Canal by the 
temporary bridge. Leave the destroyed village of Corbehem on the left. 

Br6bi6res [entirely razed) is reached. After passing the ruins of Vitry- 
en-Artois and Fresnes-les-Montauban, the tourist arrives at Gavrelle. 







':'-'./i^ ^ ' rr<& i 




•^Si, 







The RtHNS OF TiAVRELLE VILLAGE. 



126 



The powerfully fortilied village of Gavrelle was carried on April 23, 
1917, afler a very bitter struggle. 

In spite of eight violent counter-attacks in twenty-four hours, dur- 
ing which seven enemy divisions were engaged, the British held 
their ground. 

In March 1918, Gavrelle again fell into German hands, but was 




ARRA5 



The German lines of uefkvce between Dooai and akuas. 



finally recaptured on August 26, 1918, by the Canadian Corps of the 
British 1st Army. 

From Douai to Arras, the road crosses all of the many German lines 
which covered this region and which, together, formed the Hindenburg 
Line. {Sketch above.) 




The organization of these famous positions and the battles fought 
on and around them, are dealt with in the volume : " The Hindenburg 
Line ." 

Cross the bridge over the railivay, to reach St-Laurent-Blangy. 
Turn left, cross the Scarpe and the Canal, then right, and so on to 
Arras, arriving in front of the station. 



127 




Lille during the Occupation. German troops parading in the Grande Place. 
(Taken from : Lille, before and during the War). 




Amiens Cathedral. 

At the bottom of the photo, on the rifhl : the befinnim of the Rue Robert-ds-Luzarches which, 
after fkirtiry/ the Palais de Justice, poKnes in front of the South Transept of the Cathedral 
containing the Door of the Oilded Virgin. 

{Taken from: Amiens, before and during the War). 



NDEX 



A 

Ablain-St-Nazaire. 7, 8, 11, 67 

Angres 8.18 102 

Anzin-Saint-Aubin 59 

Arras 6.15. 21 

Athis 17 

Avion 100 

B 

Bailleul IS 

Beaurains ... 6 

Berthonval Wood 10 

BiUy-Moniigny 113 

brebi^res. . . . .' 125 

Bucquet Mill 18 10.3 

C 

Cabaret Rouge... 82.87 91 

Calonne (Citei 7 102 

Carency 7.8.9.11 63 

Corbehem 125 

Croisilles 17 

D 

Douai 5,16.20 114 

Drocourt 16 106 

E 

Ecurie 9 

Ecouloirs Ravine 83 

F 

Farbus 17 91 

Feuchy 17 19 

Fresnes-les-Montauba;i . 125 



r.avrelle 20 125 

Guemappe 6 18 

l.ivenchy 18.100 102 

H 

H(5nin Li(5tard 113 

Hill 119 81 



Labyrinth 9.11 90 

La Chaudiere 103 

La Coulotte lUO 

LaFolie Farm... 17.88 98 

La Targetce 92 

Lens 6.13.17.20 loi 

Les Tilleuls 17 91 

Li^vin 6.18 102 

Loos 13.102 110 

M 

Mercatel 6 

Monchy-lePreu.x.. 6.18 20 
Mont-Saint-Eloi 59 

N 

Neaville-St-Vaast .6.9.11 93 

Neuville-Vitasse 17 19 

Notre -Dame-de-Lorette 

Chapel 11 71 

Noire -Dame-de-Lorette 

Spur 6.10 102 



Ouvrages Blancs 9 92 

Ouvrage Omdga 83 



P 
Petit-Vimy 99 

Q 

Qu^ant 16 

R 

Riaumont AVood 103 

Roclincourt 9 98 

Roeux 18 20 

S 

Sainte-Catherine. ... 59 98 
St-LaurcntBlangy 6.17 126 

Sainc- Nicolas 6 

Saint-Pierre (cite)... 18 103 

Sallaumines 104 1 13 

Souchez . .. 6.10.78.88.102 

T 

Telegraph Hill 17 99 

Thelus 17 98 

Tilloy 17 19 

Topart Mill 67 

V 

Villerval 18 

Vimy 18 99 

Vimy Ridgo 8.13.90 102 

Vis-en-Artois 20 

W 

Wanoourt 6 








ARRAS. — The Rdins op the H6tel-de-Ville. 



XXX bis 2.138-11 2015 



IMP. KaPP, PARIS. 



MICHELIN DURING THE WAR 



THE MICHELIN HOSPITAL 

When the Great War broke out, Michelin at once converted 
an immense new four-storied warehouse into an up-to-date 
Hospital, with Operating Theatre, X-Ray, Bacteriological 
Laboratory, etc. Seven weeks later (September 22, 1914) 
Doctors, Dispensers, Nurses, Sisters of Mercy, and auxiliaries 
were all at their posts. The first wounded arrived the same 
night. In all, 2,993 wounded were received. 

All expanses were paid by Michelin. 

The story of how Michelin did " his bit " during the war 
is told briefly and simply in the illustrated booklet, " The 
Michelin Hospital", sent post free on application. 




A VIEW OF ONE OF THE WARDS 



MICHELIN & Cie., Clermont-Ferrand, France. 

MICHELIN TYRE Co., Ltd., 81, Fulham Road, 
London, S. W. 3. 



THE 




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