ANZAC 2019 SMALL GROUP - 3 day Somme & Flanders (Sample Itinerary) - $1509.75 per person
Please book early to avoid disappointment
23 April 2019
Arrive at Longueau train station in the afternoon to be collected by your battlefield guide. You will then be transferred to the B&B.
24 April 2019
Head over towards Villers Bretonneux where we will also visit Adelaide Cemetery, from where the unknown Australian Warrior was taken in 1993 and now rests in Canberra.
We will then travel to the school and museum in Villers Bretonneux and see the famous playground sign 'Never forget Australia'.
Close by is the village of Le Hamel, where there is the Australian Corps Memorial Park with its original trenches.
On our way to lunch we will stop by the Red Baron crash site and the 3rd Australian Division Memorial.
On towards Bullecourt which formed part of the Hindenburg line to visit the area where two major attacks took place in April and May 1917.
Our first stop we will visit the wonderful ‘slouch hat’ Memorial, the impressive Digger Memorial and the Memorial to the Missing from the battles around Bullecourt.
Our final visit will be to the Fromelles battlefield. We will visit the first new Commonwealth war graves cemetery created since the Second World War since the recent discovery of a mass grave with over 250 Australian and British soldiers.
We will then head down the Aubers Ridge to the Fromelles battlefield to visit the impressive ‘Cobber memorial’ and nearby cemetery at VC corner with the walls to the missing from this battle. Here the newly arrived 5th Australian Division suffered 5533 casualties in just 27 hours of incessant fighting.
Close by is the outstandingly beautiful military cemetery, Le Trou Post which was near where Brigadier-General ‘Pompey’ Elliott had his HQ.
25 April 2019
Leave around 03.00.
Attend the Dawn Service at the impressive National Australian Memorial dedicated to the 11,000 missing in France at Villers Bretonneux. From there, you will be able to imagine how close the Germans came to taking Amiens in the spring of 1918 before being stopped by the Australians. (Registration compulsory for attendance passes – Anzac Day 2018 commemoration)
Back to the B&B for a well needed warm drink and hot croissants.
We will then head off to the old 1916 Somme battlefield.
Firstly we will visit the impressive Thiepval Memorial to the Missing which commemorates over 73,000 British soldiers (and 800 South African) who have no known grave and also the excellent Somme Interpretative Centre.
Drive onto the 1st Division Memorial at Pozieres and the site of the Gibraltar pillbox fortification. Then we will pay our respects to the many Australian soldiers who are buried in Pozieres military cemetery from the fight for Pozieres, their first major engagement in France. Next to the Windmill site, the highest part of the Somme battlefield, where a memorial stands honouring the 23,000 fallen Australians. Close by is the grave of Private Russ Bosisto from Adelaide who was found 80 years after the battle.
On our way down the Pozieres heights we will visit the site of Moo Cow farm which saw fierce fighting in August and September 1916.
Lunch in Albert
Following lunch we visit will to the gigantic Lochnagar mine crater at La Boisselle which was blown on July 1st 1916.
A few villages away is the vast German cemetery at Fricourt where the Red Baron was buried for awhile.
In the vicinity is Caterpillar Valley cemetery where the Unknown Kiwi soldier was taken from and who rests in Wellington, New Zealand. There is also a wall to their missing from 1916 of around 1500 names.
The last visit will be to some original preserved trenches and Memorial of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment who were massacred in just half an hour at Beaumont Hamel.
26 April 2019
Depart for Belgium after breakfast. Visit the Messines Ridge where the Australians were involved in the successful capture in June 1917.
As part of the Messines Ridge attack we will also visit the site of Hill 60 of which a film has recently been made called ‘Beneath Hill 60’.
We will travel onto and discover the city of Ypres or ‘Wipers’, the defence of which cost the lives of 250,000 men of the British Empire between 1914-1918.
Lunch in Ypres
Following lunch, we will visit Essex Farm cemetery and the dug-outs where the casualty clearing station was located and where the famous poem ‘In Flanders Fields’ was inspired by John McCrae. Also, Yorkshire Trench will be visited whilst we are in the area.
Next we will visit the Fifth Australian Division Memorial in Buttes cemetery which is located looking down on 564 graves of Australian men who fought around Polygon Wood during the Battle of Passchendaele.
We will head up the Passchendaele Ridge to visit the largest Commonwealth Military Cemetery in the world, Tyne Cot, with over 12,000 graves and 35,000 names of the Missing around the Ypres Salient.
We will then continue onto Langemarck to visit the vast German cemetery, returning to Ypres around 1800 for dinner.
At 20.00 you will witness the very moving Last Post Ceremony at the Menin Gate where over 54,000 of the Missing are recorded including over 5,000 Australians.
27 April 2019
After breakfast you will be transferred to train station
- Full access to all sites,
- Entrances to the museum(s) and
- Official English speaking guide
- 4 nights in local bed & breakfast
- Lunches & dinners,
- Personal expenses and
- Train tickets