AUSTRALIANS IN FRANCE & BELGIUM IN THE GREAT WAR:
... 2018: THE FINAL CHAPTER OF THE 'WAR TO END ALL WARS'...
2018 ARMISTICE DAY (11/11/1918) CENTENARY 1 DAY TOUR ex PARIS
News Update 01 July 2017: Armistice Day at Villers-Bretonneux 11/11/2018
Registration for Armistice Day (Remembrance Day) 11/11/2018 at Villers-Bretonneux is now open and in high demand. With an attendance cap of approximately 8000 people in total being able to attend the 2018 Remembrance Day (Armistice Day) 2018 Centenary ceremony at Villers-Bretonneux Anzac Centenary service due to security constraints, this, along with the Anzac Day Centenary battle of Villers-Bretonneux in April 2018 will be probably one of the most "in demand" ceremonies of all the Western Front centenary events.
If you wish to to attend this 'once in a lifetime' day tour to the Armistice Day ceremony at Villers-Bretonneux you MUST register NOW at DVA to attend the ceremony. No registration - No entry!
The new Sir John Monash Interpretive Centre Villers-Bretonneux: Opening Anzac Day 2018
(* Please note - at this stage- we do NOT envisage that we will be able to visit this facility on this day tour, as due to the large numbers of people attending this ceremony on this day - entry to the the centre will in all probability be closed. We are awaiting firm confirmation from DVA as to what will be the situation but to date (15 August 2017) we have NOT yet been informed of the situation by the DVA.
Australia and World War 1
When The Great War came to an end in 1918 Australia was left to come to terms with a war which, on the Western Front alone, had cost Australia 48,000 dead (* including Gallipoli - over 60,000 dead) and over 156,000 wounded. Militarily, the ANZAC reputation stood sky-high at the end of the war and along with the Canadians, they were regarded as among the most elite fighting troops in the British Expeditionary Force – tough, battle hardened and ruthless, they were greatly feared by the Germans and grudgingly admired even by their nemesis - the British High Command.
On this 'once in a lifetime' Armistice Day Centenary day tour from Paris we will hear how the Australian reputation was established as one of the finest fighting forces in WW1 on the Western Front. We shall hear tales of enormous courage, endurance and sacrifice that will both inspire and humble, culminating in participating in the very moving and forever remembered Armistice Day centenary ceremony at the Villers-Bretonneux Australian War Memorial.
At A Glance...
Your Guide: An experienced Spirit of Remembrance Battlefield Guide/Historian
Dates: Sunday 11 November 2018 (11/11)
Departs: Paris: Gare du Nord: 0630
Returns: Paris: Gare du Nord 2130-2200
(REF: AUA181DPAR) "Armistice 100" 1 Day Paris Tour
Cost: (Estimated: Subject to confirmation) €418.00.00 Per Person)
* NO Child rates apply: (Children under 6 years not allowed)
** Note 1. 01 May 2017: Due to major increased security measures now announced for Australian Centenary Events at Villers-Bretonneux, this itinerary *could be* subject to some further small operational changes. Details will be announced in due course in mid 2018.
** Note 2. 01 June 2017: Due to the triggering on March 29, 2017 of Article 50 by the UK to leave the EU and the negotiations for such to start in July 2017 - we are now experiencing further major currency fluctuations. Accordingly, we have increased our *estimated prices* for our tours in 2018 by 7% in line with these currency fluctuations.
Note: (*This estimated tour price has these increases included in this tour price*)
0600 (6am) (Sunday 11 Nov 2018) Assemble at Gare du Nord coach park (Rue de Maubeuge) outside the Mercure Gare de Nord hotel. (Across the road from Gard du Nord Railway station)
0630 (6.30am Coach departs from Gare du Nord coach Park.
0800 (8am) Arrive Glisy for security parking. Here you will disembark and undergo a security search before boarding your shuttle bus transfer to Villers-Bretonneux AWM. Please have your passport with you for photo ID. Allowing for security screening for all passengers using the shuttle coaches we plan to arrive at the AWM at VIllers-Bretonneux at 0845-0930 (8.45am-9.30am). (This timing *should* allow us plenty of time for the pre-service programme).
Note. Breakfast: We will be supplying you with a small breakfast pack at Glisy which you will take with you through security. It will NOT contain water - which will be available at the AWM at Villers-Bretonneux. (We also believe hot coffee and tea will be available pre-ceremony at Villers-Bretonneux - supplied free by the DVA as in previous years for the Anzac Day ceremony, however this has not yet been confirmed by the DVA.)
The main service will start at 11AM, the exact second - 100 years ago - the guns fell silent forever on the Western Front.
DVA Release for Armistice Day Service Villers-Bretonneux 2018
The Official ARMISTICE Day Service 2018- Australian National Memorial
Entrance to the site is via the promenade at the front of the memorial, and you will walk 300 metres uphill through the cemetery to the memorial site. The surface is grass and may be slippery if damp.
Temporary seating is installed at the site. Seating will be made available for only 4000 people so we suggest seats are taken shortly after arrival. Reserved seating is only available for official delegates and for visitors with limited mobility (please advise us if you have limited mobility as space is limited and must be requested in advance - we cannot guarantee seats). If seating is full, there will be standing room on the grassed areas to the side and rear of the seats.
Should you have relatives buried here please advise your guide so he can locate them or consult the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website at www.cwgc.org
1300: After the Service: We anticipate the service to finish at (1pm) Please join other group members on the promenade area ready for pickup between 1300-1400
What about the weather?
The weather in the Somme region in November is very cold. The Australian National Memorial site is exposed to the elements and is normally very cold in November. You should ensure you are appropriately equipped for cold, wet, and windy weather, and take appropriate clothing with you when you disembark from the coach. The ground surface of the National Memorial is grass, so warm socks and waterproof shoes should be worn. * Included in your Tour inclusions are a waterproof raincoat/poncho that also doubles as reflective heat blanket and a foldable travel blanket/pillow.
What should I take with me?
● You will receive in your tour inclusions a commemorative backpack as a small bag is quite useful
● Wet weather jacket
● Warm, layered, thermal clothing, jacket, hat or cap, gloves, scarf (*You also will receive a thermal (*Thinsulate) wool beanie from us as part of your tour).
● Comfortable, sturdy walking shoes
● Lighter clothing for later during the day
● Drinking water and snack (water will be available from your coach driver for a small fee)
As detailed, there will be an excellent commemorative souvenir pack for everyone travelling on the tour including your ANZAC commemorative tour booklet.
What facilities are available during the Service?
● Temporary toilets, including disabled toilets, and hand washing facilities
● First Aid Services
● Rubbish bins
● Bottled Water
After the Ceremony
1400 (2pm) Depart from AWM at Villers Bretonneux & return to Glisy parking & return to tour coach.
1430 (2.30pm) Extensive lunch with drinks at the delightful Le Moulin des Ecrevisses restaurant
1600 (4pm) Depart restaurant for another historic 'FIRST' for today - a visit to the beautiful Château de Bertangles outside Amiens. During World War I, the château was the Australian Forces Headquarters commanded by Australia's most famous General - Sir John Monash.
On August 12, 1918, Monash was knighted as a Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath at the chateau by King George V, the first time a British monarch had honoured a commander in such a way in 200 years. On the evening of Anzac Day April 24th 2016, The Governor General of Australia Sir Peter Cosgrove visited Bertangles to pay tribute to this amazing man and his men. It was here that Monash planned his defence of Amiens, his 92 minute battle masterpiece at Le Hamel and the tough tenacious fight that finally took Le Quesnoy - earning the Aussie lads 3 VCs. This a first - and NO other tour operator offers this amazing historic visit on their tours.
1830-1900 (6.30-7 pm) Depart Château Bertangles for Paris via short stop in Amiens.
2200-2230 (10-10.30 pm) (approximate) Arrive Paris at Gare du Nord station. Tour Finishes.
* Please note all timings are approximate and that the itinerary is subject to change at all times due to reasons beyond our control. Also, we cannot guarantee the exact return arrival time in Paris that evening/night so we recommend that you do not make travel plans for that evening.
• Services of an EXPERT *highly qualified Battlefield Guide & Historian (*Guild of Battlefield Guides) for the duration of tour with specific knowledge on Australian battles in France & Belgium in WW1
• The tour uses the same luxury coach throughout the tour with the services of two experienced
• *Small breakfast pack
• Extensive Lunch (with drinks)
• Attendance at Armistice Day Centenary ceremony Villers-Bretonneux
• Visit to the beautiful Château de Bertangles: Sir John Monash HQ
• Commemorative high quality Armistice Day Anzac Day gifts:
• High quality full colour souvenir book of the tour
• Combined Travel Blanket/Pillow
• Thinsulate® Beanie
• Baggage Tags
• Western Front Maps (Incl in book)
COSTS DO NOT INCLUDE
• Meals and snacks as not included as above
• Museum fees (if applicable) unless specified as above
• Items of a personal nature
Please Note: Hand Luggage only: We cannot take large suitcases on this day tour.
• NO child rate applies & infants cannot be taken on this tour. Minimum age 12 years
TO BOOK: BOOKINGS (at 01 September 2017)
As we are still waiting on final information on security & other important operational issues including final prices from some French suppliers for our November 2018 Armistice Tours, we have decided NOT to take holding deposits for this tour at this stage.
Instead, we ask you to fill out the BOOKING FORM for the tour you wish to book and send to us as soon as possible. Please also note the Terms and Conditions of bookings for our 2018 Armistice Tours in the Booking Form. Once we confirm the tour price (Oct/Nov 2017) we will contact you. You will then be required to pay a *€200 per person (1 Day/24 hour Tours) deposit within 14 days of us advising you (of the confirmed tour price) - by email, text or telephone.
We further advise that we do not expect any increase on these estimated prices or if so, very minimal.
If we do not receive your deposit within 14 days of us advising you once we release the confirmed tour price - we will release your booking back into the general booking pool without any further communication with you. Please CONTACT US if you require more information regarding this tour to this moving and historic ceremony. Space is strictly limited on the tour and at the ceremony.