Upon leaving Paris, we picked up a rental car and drove to Northern France, to visit some of the World War I battlefields. We focused on the trenches around the Somme battlefields, since this is home to both the Canadian war memorial at Vimy Ridge and the Newfoundland memorial at Beaumont Hamel. In addition to their status as official memorials, both Vimy and Beaumont Hamel provide a vivid picture of how the trenches would have looked during battle. At Vimy, the trenches have been reconstructed with concrete “sandbags”, while at Beaumont Hamel, they have been allowed to grow grassy green, with some moderate supports to keep their basic structure intact. Both locations are staffed with earnest young Canadians who gave us informative tours and patiently endured many, many questions from the children. (“But how much did a shell weigh, exactly?“). We rounded out the information from the visitors’ centres with a stop at the Historial de la Grande Guerre in Péronne, and visits to two of the larger French and German cemeteries in the area. It was a poignant few days in the French countryside.