Australian Battlefield Tours

 

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Australian Govt. Official Centenary Events

New! 2017: Amadeus (Netherlands) Tulip Cruise

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2018  ANZAC DAY Centenary Villers-Bretonneux*

2018 VB Centenary Anzac Day Multi Day Tours

 The Origin of the Poppy

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 **Platinum**  Luxury Battlefield Tours

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 2017 Anzac Day Villers-Bretonneux Paris Day Tour

 2017 Amadeus (the Netherlands) Tulip Cruise 2017

 2017 Fromelles & Pozieres * Anniversary Tour

 2017 Battle of Bullecourt Centenary Tour: (11 Apr)

 2017 Battle of Bullecourt Centenary Tour: (25 Apr) 

 2017 Battle of Polygon Wood Centenary Tour

 2017 Battle of Passchendaele Centenary Tour

2017-2018 Australian Govt. Centenary Events :
Spirit of Remembrance Tours 2017-2018:

2017 WW1 CENTENARY TOURS 
*Bullecourt:  *Polygon Wood:  *Passchendaele

2018 WW1 CENTENARY TOURS 
*Anzac Day:  *Le Hamel: *St Quentin  *Armistice

2016 ' Anzac Footsteps' 4 day/3n Tour Series

2016 Fromelles & Pozieres 7 Day Centenary Tour

2016 Australian WW1 Tours

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Australians at War

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STAR-NEWS-30 Fromelles & Pozieres 7 Day Centenary Tour 2016:From $AU2290 p/person (share twin)
       Stop Press! 19 Feb 2016: Single Rooms now sold out. Limited twin and double rooms only

           ** Note: 2017: This tour will operate again in 2017 as the 101 Year Anniversary Tour.
                                  Please check with us for advance details and pricing.

** IMPORTANT  - PLEASE READ! BOOK NOW FOR LIMITED OFFICIAL CEREMONY SEATS!
The official Australian Government ceremony for the Battle of Fromelles & the Battle of Pozieres 100 year centenary: 

We now have now been extensively briefed (29 October 2015) by Department of Veteran Affairs Australia on the proceedings for both of these ceremonies. They are quite extensive and highly complex. Extensive security arrangements will also be in place and many restrictions will also apply. PLEASE CONTACT US urgently for full information including who will be eligible for tickets to the seated grandstand areas as these are limited to a maximum of 3,500 total seats ONLY!

Allocation is likely to commence on 28 November 2015 when seats are first released for registration so it is IMPERATIVE that if you wish to attend that you book with us at the earliest opportunity as once seats are released for distribution they will be allocated on a FIRST IN -FIRST SERVED basis. Once these are fully allocated NO further seats will be available.


NOTE! It is our understanding that seats at the official ceremony will ONLY be available for Australian citizens & proof of eligibility is required to register.



At a Glance...

Your guide: Tim Pritchard-Barrett
Dates: 18 July  – 24 July 2016
Duration: 6 Nights/7 Days
Starts: Lille (France) Finishes: Lille 
Tour Code: REF: FP166DLIL
Tour
Cost: $AUD 2290.00 Per Person Share Twin/Double
Single Room Supplement: $AUD 595.00

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About this special Fromelles & Pozieres Centenary Tour:
"From defeat to victory"
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 46,000 dead in two and a half years fighting and overall with more casualties than in the entire Second World War. Militarily however, the Australian reputation stood sky high at the end of the war and along with the Canadians and New Zealanders, the battle hardened Australian forces were regarded as among the best fighting troops in the British Expeditionary Force.

On this special tour we will follow their footsteps to the places where the ANZAC reputation was established in France and Belgium between 1916 and 1918. Along the way we shall hear tales of enormous courage, endurance and tremendous sacrifice that will both inspire and humble.

Highlights :
Fromelles:  July 19, 1916 – we commemorate the 100th anniversary of this bloody catastrophe.
Pozieres:  23 July 1916 – we commemorate the 100th anniversary of the terrible Battle of Pozieres.
•  Pozieres  - where "Australian troops … fell more thickly on this ridge than on any other battlefield of the war".
   (Also includes visit to Mouquet Farm area.)
• Wellington Tunnels, Arras – a tribute to the work of the New Zealand tunnellers.
• The great 1917 battles for the ANZACs at Bullecourt, Messines and Passchendaele.
Villers Bretonneux – where Australia saved the day - and probably the war - on Anzac Day 1918.
• The Last 100 days – Follow the ANZACS as they spearhead the Allied advance to victory through Amiens, Peronne and the St Quentin Canal.

Itinerary

Day 1 – Monday 18 July 2016
10.00 – Meet Guide and coach at Lille Europe Station coach depot. Load baggage.
Depart for Ypres area of Belgium. Lunch at own expense en route. 
We shall visit scenes of notable Australian actions in 1917
• Messines Ridge – 3rd Australian Division attack 7-10 June 1917.
• Pool of Peace – A flooded mine crater with a spectacular view of the battlefield.
• Ploegsteert  - Known to the troops as Plugstreet. We visit the new Interpretation Centre. Its architectural style was inspired by the Catacombs: the underground galleries constructed near here by the Australians in the months leading up to the Battle of Messines.
• Toronto Avenue Cemetery - Toronto Avenue Cemetery was named from one of the paths in Ploegsteert Wood, in which it is located. The cemetery contains the graves of officers and men of the 9th Brigade (3rd Australian Division) who died in the Battle of Messines.
• Hill 60 - Australian Tunnelling Corps Memorial
• Menin Road & Polygon Wood - 5th (Australian) Division Memorial – the Australian actions in the early stages of the 3rd Battle of Ypres  (July – October 1917)
Ypres. Dinner included at local restaurant
Ypres. 20.00 Last Post Ceremony - Menin Gate - An experience that will linger long in your memory.
Kortrijk. Accommodation: 4 star: Sandton Hotel, Kortrijk
Meals: D
 
Day 2 – Tuesday 19 July 2016:  Battle of Fromelles 100 year centenary:

(* Today's activities will be flexible to enable us to participate in the official Australian   Government centenary ceremony of the Battle of Fromelles.) 


Depart hotel after breakfast with packed lunches for Fromelles area in France.
Battle of Fromelles - 19 July 1916 - 20 July 1916. Fromelles, in Northern France, was the first major battle fought by Australian troops on the Western Front. It was intended primarily as a feint to draw German troops away from the Somme offensive then being pursued further to the south. In the early evening of 19 July 1916, near the village of Fromelles, two infantry divisions newly arrived on the Western Front, the 5th Australian and British 61st (South Midland) attacked a 4,000 yard section of the German frontline centred on a notorious strongpoint called the "Sugar Loaf".

Advancing over unfavourable ground, in clear view of resolute and expectant defenders, the attackers suffered terrible casualties in a matter of minutes. The action turned into a bloody catastrophe - the Australians had over 5,500 killed, wounded and missing; 61st Division reported over 1,500 killed, wounded and missing. No tactical advantages resulted from the action and it still remains today as the worst day in Australian military history.

We will see the 1916 battlefield, including:
• VC Corner Australian Cemetery and 'Cobbers' Memorial - commemorating the rescue of a Australian wounded soldier from 'no-man's-land',
• Pheasant Wood cemetery - Completed in July 2010, Fromelles (Pheasant Wood) Military Cemetery is the first new war cemetery to be built by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission in fifty years. The cemetery contains 250 Australian and British soldiers, whose remains were recovered in 2009 from mass graves behind nearby Pheasant Wood, where they had been buried by the Germans following the battle of Fromelles.
• Visit to Fromelles Museum (admission included) (* If time allows with official ceremony)
• Packed lunch provided
Return to hotel for dinner (included) in local restaurant
Accommodation: 4 star: Sandton Hotel, Kortrijk
Meals: B, L, D

Day 3 – Wednesday 20 July 2016
Check out of hotel after breakfast with packed lunches. Our morning programme in the Ypres area  includes:
• Essex Farm Cemetery - Dressing station where a Canadian surgeon wrote a famous poem and the story of the Poppy was born.
• Langemarck German Cemetery – A contrast in styles.
• Broodseinde - Scene of ANZAC success in October 1917.
• Tyne Cot War Cemetery - on Passchendaele Ridge (the largest Commonwealth war cemetery in the world). Two Australian VCs are buried here.
• Passchendaele Memorial Museum, Zonnebeke
• Wellington Quarry, in Arras - an underground museum, which incorporates parts of the tunnel system.  Admission included.
Check in to hotel in Gosnay.
Dinner at own expense
Accommodation: 3 star: Best Western Hôtel, La Métairie, Gosnay nr Bethune,
(*4 star upgrade option: Chateau le Domaine de la Chartreuse)

Meals: B, L

Day 4 – Thursday 21 July 2016
Breakfast in hotel.
We first drive to Bullecourt to visit the battlefield, the Digger and Slouch Hat Memorials and Bullecourt War Museum
Picnic Lunch
We move on to Mont St. Quentin - Learn about the bitter battle in 1918 and see an inspiring Australian Memorial.
Peronne Historiale Museum - A magnificent museum in Peronne
Drive to St Quentin Canal area,
Visit:
• The American & Australian attacks on the St Quentin Canal line
• The mouth of the St Quentin Canal tunnel
  Return to hotel
  Dinner provided in local restaurant
Accommodation: 3 star: Best Western Hôtel, La Métairie, Gosnay nr Bethune,
(*4 star upgrade option: Chateau le Domaine de la Chartreuse)
Meals: B, L, D

Day 5 – Friday 22 July 2016
Breakfast in hotel. Check out and depart for Villers Bretonneux.
Visit:
• Scene of first tank versus tank action
• Adelaide War Cemetery  - Original burial place of Australia's Unknown Soldier
• The action that led to the VC for Lieutenant CWK Sadlier
• Australian National Memorial - Commemorating  10,797 Australians who have no known grave.
• Franco-Australian Museum – Admission included.
• Australian Corps Memorial Park – Le Hamel, including trench system.
• 3rd (Australian)Division Memorial - Return to hotel
Accommodation: 3 star: Best Western Hôtel, La Métairie, Gosnay nr Bethune,
(*4 star upgrade option: Chateau le Domaine de la Chartreuse)
Meals: B, L, D
 
Day 6 – Saturday 23 July 2016: Battle of Pozieres 100 year centenary:
 
(* Today's activities will be flexible to enable us to participate in the official Australian   Government centenary ceremony of the Battle of
Pozieres.) 

Depart after breakfast for tour with visits to:
• Newfoundland Park - The tragic experience of the Newfoundland Regiment on 1st July 1916 serves to illustrate the tragedy of the opening of the Battle of the Somme on 1st July 1916
• Ulster Tower – Coffee Break. The Memorial to the 36th (Ulster) Division and visitor centre.
• La Boiselle – Mining and tunnelling operations.
Lunch included at a local restaurant.
• Thiepval Memorial – Lutyens' imposing memorial to the Missing of the Somme and a fascinating visitor centre
Pozieres – Join the centenary commemorations. Pozières, a small village in the Somme region of France, was the scene of bitter and costly fighting for the 1st, 2nd and 4th Australian Divisions in mid 1916. Today we hope to also visit the Windmill Memorial, Tank Memorial & 1st Division Memorial. 
Mouquet Farm - Mouquet Farm was the site of nine separate attacks by three Australian divisions between 8 August and 3 September 1916. This evening we then return to our hotel.
Farewell Dinner included  in local restaurant and overnight in hotel.
Accommodation: 3 star: Best Western Hôtel, La Métairie, Gosnay nr Bethune,
(*4 star upgrade option: Chateau le Domaine de la Chartreuse)
Meals: B, L, D

Day 7 – Sunday 24 July 2016
Check out of hotel after breakfast.
Transfer to Lille station for your onward journey
Tour ends
Accommodation: None
Meals: B
 

 Our other Battlefields & Remembrance Websites:
 
Spirit of Remembrance: Battlefield Tours UK: Battlefield Tours Canada: Battlefield Tours New Zealand: Battlefield Tours USA: Spirit of Malaysia Battlefield Tours:
Anzac Day Villers-Bretonneux 100 year anniversary: Pozieres.com: Spirit of ParisPlatinum Battlefield Tours: DeathRailway.com: Edith Cavell Nurses Tours: