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Using A Hire Car To Tour The Battlefields Of France

Feb 10, 2008
For years I had thought about travelling to France, using a car hire service and touring the battlefields of the First World War. My family like many in Britain lost loved ones in this senseless power struggle which is why my advice to anyone would be to visit the battlefields and cemeteries to get an idea of the sheer scale of the slaughter that occurred ninety years ago. The best way to do this is to hire a car and tour at your own rate, there are many organised tours of the sites but if you are after a truly unique experience, car hire is the way to go.

One major reason you should hire a car is because you may have to go to a specific cemetery. It is always worth doing the research before you embark on your trip to France; finding the names of your family members and locating which of the cemeteries they are lying in will save time and effort. It is always revealing to research your ancestors and find out a little about their last moments, in many cases, harrowing tales of comradeship and pointless death become apparent.

If you had any relatives who were at the battle of the Somme, there is little doubt that they lay in France. The battlefield itself now has a chilling memorial to the hundreds of thousands who lost their lives. The use of a hire car is especially useful here as it allows the traveller to navigate this area of France with ease; if taking elderly relatives it is a necessity to use car hire services as mobility issues can arise without your own transport.

A sense of eerie massacre surrounds these battlefields; it may not sound like the best idea of a family holiday to France but in my opinion it is vital to teach children about this period. Maybe extremely young children may not enjoy travelling around in a hire car visiting what must be seen as just fields with slabs in, but older children should definitely be involved. If the younger generations do not realise the sacrifices that were made in order for them to live freely, by their own ancestors, the world will go to rack and ruin.

With so many lives lost in the conflict it is a poignant reminder of how violent the world can be. It has been sixty years since the last major world war so younger generations have no idea of how much families once had to sacrifice. Some families lost all of their male members and it is crucial to recognise this fact. A hire car tour of the battlefields is perfect way to illustrate the point.

Travelling to France and finding the final resting place of an ancestor is a humbling experience for all who undertake it. But you do not have to solely spend your time delving into this morbidity. The use of a hire car allows tourists to visit some of the quintessential villages of France. With their quiet village life, they offer a great chance to relax, and of course like much of France, the cuisine is something to savour.

Making a trip to the battlefields of France is a great educational trip and if timed well can coincide with children's school syllabuses. This added education can help students get a feel for the subject in a physical way and add an element away from the textbook. Most teachers will advocate the benefits of this type of learning and raising your own children's grades must be what all parents would like.

I myself have used hire car services and toured the French battlefields and found my ancestor's graves; although it is seemingly a rather morbid experience it is well worth undertaking. Reminding ourselves of the sacrifices of past generations is an educational element that should be a part of everyone's learning.
About the Author
Travel expert Thomas Pretty has visited The WW1 battlefields many times and advocates the use of Budget's car hire France services for your trip. To find out more please visit http://www.budget.co.uk/car-hire/car-hire-france.htm
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