Now all roads lead to France and heavy is the tread
Of the living; but the dead returning lightly dance.
Edward Thomas, Roads

Friday, August 8, 2014

Western Front Virtual Tour — Stop 30: Ulster Tower

A memorial to the men of the 36th (Ulster) Division who on 1 July 1916 advanced farther than any other  division in this sector but then found themselves isolated on Thiepval Ridge. The memorial was officially opened on 19 November 1921 and is a very close copy of Helen's Tower, which stands in the grounds of the Clandeboye estate, near Bangor, County Down, in Northern Ireland. Many of the men of the Ulster Division trained on the estate before moving to England and then France early in 1916. Near the Ulster Tower are the remnants of a German strongpoint,  the Schwaben Redoubt, that held the ridge for nearly the entire Battle of the Somme. There is an ongoing effort to restore the trenches from where the initial attack was launched. 


  1. The inscriptions emphasize that Catholics and Protestants were fighting alongside each other.