Heilly today seems a hauntingly sad place, in countryside that looks untouched by tragedy. But life goes on, and when I was there last year, the station-master was proud to tell us that his station is on the present day route of the TGV [Train Grand Vitesse] and also sees the Orient Express go through twice a week [once each way], although neither actually stop there. No more casualties in or out of Heilly Station! He also said that field walking constantly turns up mementoes of those wartime days.
So here is Heilly today, the station; the site of the casualty clearing stations, and the military cemetery, the last resting place of 2,890 Commonwealth soldiers, and 83 Germans.
Just click on the photos to enlarge them
Heilly Station today - some of the smaller buildings were there during the Great War
And the view behind the station towards the fields that were home to three casualty clearing stations in 1916
Those vast expanses of land, so peaceful now, and giving no hint of a desperate former life
At the end of the site is the British cemetery
This is one of the many single graves containing three burials, but no room for regimental badges
And the cloister wall, with some of the 117 badges which couldn't be included on the headstones