Vic and Diane with Arthur Halestrap MBE
Vic and Diane with Arthur Halestrap MBE

Hello, we are Vic and Diane and we will be your hosts at Les Alouettes.

We both have a deep love of the battlefields and spent many years visiting them before deciding to make our home here on the Somme.

Before embarking on our French careers we had very different jobs. I was a journalist and Diane was an accountant. Nothing against these professions but after a number of years we decided we needed a change! And we certainly did that……..

For many years too in the UK we were involved with the Western Front Association – eventually running the East Midlands branch. Our greatest privilege during this time was knowing veterans of the Great War and we spent much time in their company – recording their memories and even bringing them over to their former battlefields. We have even had a few of them stay with us at Les Alouettes!

Diane’s accounting skills are still in use by keeping our books in order and writing has continued for me with freelance contributions ranging from a newspaper article on the Christmas Truce, features in the WFA magazine Stand To!, the publication of a book on the life of the poet Will Streets who died during the Battle of the Somme and recently I co-wrote a book called Famous with renown Great War author, Richard Van Emden.

As well as relevant information during your stay we can also offer tours of the area and further afield – see our Battlefield Tours page.

Life is certainly busy and varied here. Nothing much about our previous lives in Britain is missed – apart from Mansfield Town Football Club for me. Also, mooching around second-hand book shops, car boot sales and real ale.

Our main aim is to make your stay at Les Alouettes and your visit to the Somme as memorable as possible.