French Flanders and Artois Battlefields, France

Images of sites to visit on the French Flanders and Artois battlefields, France.

Battles

The Lens-Douai plain from the Canadian National Vimy Memorial, Vimy Ridge.
Looking north-east from the Canadian National Vimy Memorial across the Lens-Douai plain.

Fighting arrived in the region of French Flanders and Artois from late September 1914, within weeks of the outbreak of the First World War. The line of the Western Front was established in this sector with major battles taking place at Armentières, Arras, Aubers Ridge, Bullecourt, Festubert, Fromelles, Loos, the Lys, Neuve Chapelle and Vimy Ridge.

Battles of French Flanders & Artois

Battle Remains

Preserved trenches at the Vimy Memorial Park.
Preserved trenches at the Vimy Memorial Park.

There are two sites where battlefield remains, including trenches, tunnels and mine craters, can be visited:

Battle Remains in the French Flanders & Artois Battlefields

Monuments & Memorials

British & Commonwealth Flying Services Memorial and Arras Memorial, Arras.
Flying Services Memorial & Arras Memorial.

In addition to numerous memorials to individual military units, this battlefield area has several national memorials dedicated to thousands of servicemen who died and who have no known grave.

French Flanders and Artois Monuments & Memorials

Cemeteries

Ablain St-Nazaire French Military Cemetery “Notre Dame de Lorette”.
Notre Dame de Lorette French Cemetery

The battlefields of French Flanders are the resting place of many thousands of Allied and Imperial German troops. The military cemeteries for the British and Commonwealth casualties number over 300. This area includes Ablain St. Nazaire “Notre Dame de Lorette”, the largest French military cemetery in the world, and the largest German military cemetery for 1914-1918 casualties in France at Neuville-Saint-Vaast named “Maison Blanche”.

French Flanders & Artois Cemeteries

Museums

Tunnel in the Wellington Quarry (La Carrière Wellington) museum, Arras.
Tunnel and mining truck in the Wellington Quarry (La Carriere Wellington) museum in Arras.

There are several private and public museums and visitor centres with unique collections and experiences for visitors to the French Flanders and Artois battlefields.

French Flanders & Artois Battlefield Museums

Events

Ceremony to mark the start of the reburials in Pheasant Wood Cemetery, February 2010. CWGC
Ceremony in February 2010 to mark the start of the reburials in the new Pheasant Wood cemetery.

Commemorative events and exhibitions for the Remembrance of the First World War are held for annual or special anniversaries of battles or in relation to particular monuments or memorials.

French Flanders & Artois Events

Tourist Information

The city of Arras.
City of Arras.

For visitors wanting to stay in the area on a short break or longer holiday see our listings of suggested accommodation and find out what other local attractions there are in the region via links to the region's tourist information offices:

Accommodation on and around the French Flanders & Artois Battlefields

Tourist Offices & Websites for French Flanders & Artois

Acknowledgements

CWGC Photograph courtesy of Commonwealth War Graves Commission:

Website: www.cwgc.org Remembering Fromelles