It can be difficult for history teachers to keep coming up with new inspiring WW2 trips, but 2008 will open up a whole new experience for teachers and students.
Beneath the streets of Arras lie impressive chalk quarries which were dug out starting from the Middle Ages.
In 1914, Arras was destroyed and from November 1916, the Allies began preparing for a diversion operation before the Chemin des Dames assault. The British had the brainwave of linking up these quarries so that on the 9th April 1917, 24,000 allied soldiers could emerge from this underground network and push back the German frontline. Walk 40 metres down a gentle slope towards a half-buried building, and the “Wellington Quarry” appears. After watching a short historical film, then going down in a glass lift, 20m further down you will be following in the footsteps of these soldiers. You will hear them and see their silhouettes, discover their drawings, sculptures and graffiti – the moving evidence of the presence of these men who were about to go into battle.
Opening planned for the beginning of 2008.