The information and images below were very kindly sent to me by Mike Evans.
On a recent visit to some of the battlefields on the Somme I came across a headstone in a military cemetery which may be of interest to people living in Michaelstow. The headstone referred to Gunner H H Inch of the Royal Field Artillery who died on the 8th August 1918 aged 24 years. At the foot of the headstone is the legend ‘Late of Trenewth Parish of Michaelstow, Cornwall, England.’ The date is interesting because that was the day that the Germans referred to as ‘The Black Day of the German Army’. I took a photograph of it on my iPad so if someone would like it I would be happy to forward it with location details.
The headstone I mentioned was in the Military Cemetery near Villers-Bretonneux (Somme). Of all the many British & Empire cemeteries in France this one is of particular interest because it serves as the Australian National Memorial to all her men lost on the Western Front in the Great War. There is a tower within the cemetery designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens which is dedicated to almost 11,000 Australian dead who have no known grave. The 8th of August, 1918 was the start of the Battle of Amiens and is seen as a turning point in the war on the Western Front with the Allies advancing 9 miles in one day. Australians, with their habit of abbreviating pretty well everything refer to it (with great respect) as ‘VB’.
Herewith 4 photos which may interest you. There are two general views, one of which clearly shows the gentle undulating terrain which is the Somme. The headstone of Gunner Inch you know about. I also include a photograph taken of an Australian headstone where full vent is given to the feelings of the family. Out of interest, a private message at the foot of the headstone was available to the families of British victims at a rate of so much per letter. I believe that the Australian government paid for such inscriptions for their families.