The Ring of Remembrance is an architectural and artistic achievement, a monumental tribute commemorating the soldiers, husbands, fathers, and sons from the whole world over who fell in Nord Pas-de-Calais between 1914 and 1918, regardless of nationality, rank, or religion, looking well beyond selective memories.
Everything here is striking by the sheer dimensions of the place: 579 606 names engraved in steel are united for eternity in this elliptical monument that is 345 m in circumference, sitting precariously on the edge of a hill as if to draw attention to the fragility of peace. Up there, among all those names, you are sure to find that of a friend or family member, and you will reminisce on stories passed down from one generation to the next.
Climb the hill on foot from the car park at the 14-18 museum in Souchez to reach the ring (an easy climb with a view over the Loos-en-Gohelle slag heaps, 15 minutes). Once inside, you will be overwhelmed by the silence and, when night falls, the sensation is even more intense as the ring is bathed in a radiant aura reflecting back at the stars. While you are there, visit the Cabaret-Rouge cemetery, where the concentric lines of the 7645 graves of Commonwealth soldiers have replaced the tiny red-brick café that was destroyed in 1915.