Day 1: Following your home taxi collection we make our way to Dover for our journey by channel crossing to France and Belgium. Firstly we visit the King Albert I Memorial in Nieuwpoort which honours the brave Belgian troops in WWI. We then continue to Lijssenthoek Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery, where we receive a narrative on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, their work, the origins and the design of Cemeteries by the Commission. We then continue to our hotel to settle in before dinner.
Day 2: After breakfast we continue our guided tour of the Ypres Salient with a visit to the Essex Farm Advanced Dressing Station where Lt Col John McCrae wrote the haunting poem “In Flanders Fields”. Here we also visit the grave of one of the youngest casualties of WWI, Pvt Valentine Strudwick who was just 15 years old. We re-join the coach for a tour to some of the battlefield sites of the Ypres Salient, stopping first at the Canadian Memorial at St Julien – Vancouver Corner, then to the Hooge café for a Lunch break. We then move on to Hill 60, Black Watch Corner and Polygon Wood, before arriving at the Menin Gate in Ypres. Here you will receive a full narrative on the Menin Gate, including the architecture and origins of the Memorial. There will be free time to explore the town before our evening meal at 18.00. We then head back to the Menin Gate to witness the Last Post Ceremony. (this concludes at 20.30 hrs).
Day 3: After breakfast we travel to the small town of Poperinge. Here we have an included visit to the Talbot House Museum*. Named after Lt Gilbert Talbot, it opened as an ‘Every Mans Club’ in 1915. We then visit the site of the condemned soldier cells and the execution post for those who would be shot at dawn. The guide will provide a narrative on those sentenced to death under the Army Act in WWI. After a break we then head to Langemark German military Cemetery and Tyne Cot, the largest Commonwealth War Grave Cemetery in the world. We then progress to the Crest Farm Canadian memorial in Passchendaele village. There then follows an included visit to the Passchedaele Museum* at Zonnebeek where we can also take a break for lunch. Later in the afternoon we head back to Ypres, where there will be free time to explore or you may wish to accompany your guide for a walk on the old Ramparts (weather permitting).
Day 4: An early start will see the tour change focus to the Battle of the Somme in 1916 – we travel south to the Somme region for a full day of visits to the Somme battlefield sites, including the Sheffield Memorial Park for the Pals Battalions and the Serre Road No 2 CWGC Cemetery, the largest Commonwealth cemetery in the Somme region to pay our respects. Following a lunch break at le Tommy café in Pozieres, we move on to Beaumont Hamel and the Sunken Lane, Hawthorn Mine Crater, Newfoundland Park and the Ulster Tower on the Schwaben Redoubt.
Day 5: Checking out of our hotel we continue with our Somme Battlefield tour, travelling to the battlefields once again. The sites to be visited on this our final day on tour will include, Ovillers CWGC, Lochnagar Crater and an included visit to the Somme Museum* in Albert. A brief lunch stop once again at the Le Tommy Café in Pozieres, before heading to the mighty Thiepval Memorial and an included visit to the Thiepval visitors centre*. We then start our journey home to Norfolk where our door to door service will be waiting to take you home.
* - included museum visit.
Single Supplement: £160
Tour Ref: EUR1734
Deposit Required: £70pp
Balance Due: 10 weeks prior to departure