Australian Battlefield Tours

 

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UK Based: Battlefield Tours & Journeys of Remembrance specifically for Australians 

The Western Front Association

 

ABOUT SPIRIT OF REMEMBRANCE
Why book with us?

2019 WW1 New! 1Day 'Ultra' Australian Tour France

2019 WW2 Anzac Day at Hellfire Pass: Thailand   6D/5N Multi Day Tour: BKK - BKK  23-28 April 2019

2019 WW1 **NEW!** Canal Cruise WW1 Battlefields

2019 WW1 Anzac Day at Villers-Bretonneux France  1 Day Tour: Paris - Paris: 24/25 April 2019  

2019 WW1 Anzac Day at Villers-Bretonneux France 6 Day Tour: Value & Dlx Option: 20-25 April 2019  

2019 WW1 3N/4D 'Anzac Footsteps' Tour: May-Oct

 2019 WW2 75th  Anniversary WW2: D-Day Tour

 2019 WW2 Bomber Command Brave Beyond Belief

 2019 WW2 Battle of Crete 75th Anniversary:  (TBA)

 2018 Armistice Tour 11/11(6D) 'Victory & Peace'

 2018 Armistice Tour (6D) 'Armistice Signed' (Lx)

 2018 Armistice Tour Day Tour ex Paris: 11/11/2018

 2020 WW2 80th Anniversary: Battle of Britain

 2020 WW2 Desert Rats: Tobruk/North Africa (TBA) 

  Sir John Monash Centre: Villers-Bretonneux

  * Photos: Opening: Sir John Monash Centre!

 **Platinum**  Luxury Battlefield Tours

The Origin of the Poppy

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*Commemorative quality souvenir clothing/booklet

About Us - What We Do

About our Tours

We research your Ancestors

Australians at War

Australians & WW1

Australian Remembrance Trail

"Tailor Made" Personalised Tours

Australians & Ypres WW1

Ypres WW1 Photo Gallery

WW1 Aussie Photo Gallery

 Australians & WW2

WW2 D-Day Photo Gallery

Post WW2: Korea, Vietnam

AUSTRALIANS IN FRANCE & BELGIUM IN THE GREAT WAR:
... 2018: THE FINAL CHAPTER OF THE 'WAR TO END ALL WARS'...
ARMISTICE DAY CENTENARY WW1 BATTLEFIELD TOUR: 11/11/2018: VILLERS-BRETONNEUX

"VICTORY & PEACE": Armistice Day: 100 Years Centenary Tour 11/11/2018: (5N/6 Days)

Poppy - Spirit of Remembrance  ** (Amended 10 October 2018 - Due changes with DVA security arrangements for 11 November at the ANM and also other operational changes required on this day (11/11)**

Note! If you wish to to attend this 'once in a lifetime' tour with us to the Armistice Day ceremony at Villers-Bretonneux - you MUST have registered with DVA to attend the ceremony. No registration - No entry!

Poppy - Spirit of Remembrance  Includes! The Sir John Monash Interpretive Centre Villers-Bretonneux: Opened Anzac Day 2018

    (* Scroll down for 'Victory & Peace" Armistice Day Centenary Tour Itinerary and Prices)

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' "Victory & Peace" Armistice Day Centenary 5 NIGHT/6 DAY tour in France and Belgium we follow in their footsteps to the places where the Australian reputation was established as one of the finest fighting forces in WW1 on the Western Front. Along the way 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:
A certified SOR Historian/Battlefield Guide
Dates: Tuesday 6 November - Sunday 11 November 2018 2017
Duration: 5 Nights/6 Days
Starts: Lille (France) Finishes: Lille (France) 
Tour Code: AUA186DLILV
Tour
Cost: €1695.00  Per Person Share Twin/Double
Single Room Supplement: €680.00
Spirit of Remembrance: Mobile Phone 24 Hours contact: +44 (0) 7 983509091

   _____________________________________________________________________________

Day 1 - Tuesday 6 November 2018
Arrival Day for your Tour. Day/Evening at leisure after you arrive in Lille and check into your Lille Hotel.
Accommodation:
4 * Lille Hotel "Couvent des Minimes de Lille"
Meals:
Nil

Day 2 – Wednesday 7 November 2018
After breakfast (included) meet your guide in the lobby of the hotel with bags all packed at 8.15 am. (Note: Because it is early November our touring daylight hours are restricted so we must be prompt in getting away early in the mornings on our tour.) 
8.45am. We start our tour with a short journey to the Ypres salient with visits to:
Messines Ridge – 3rd Australian Division attack, NZ Division attack.
Ploegsteert Visitor Centre (entry included)
Toronto Avenue Cemetery (The only all Australian cemetery in Belgium)
Hill 60 – Australian Tunnelling Company Memorial. 'Beneath Hill 60'
Menin Road & Polygon Wood – 5th (Australian) Division Memorial
Broodseinde NZ Div Memorial
Passchendaele Memorial Museum, Zonnebeke – entry included
Tyne Cot War Cemetery
Lunch enroute
Late afternoon/evening check in to our 3+* Ypres region hotel
Dinner at our hotel after the Menin Gate ceremony (included)
8.00 pm – This evening we experience the Menin Gate Ceremony. After the ceremony free to wander around this beautiful Flemish market town completely rebuilt after WW1.
Accommodation: 3+* Ypres area hotel: Hostellerie Mont Kemmel 
Meals: B, L, D

Day 3 – Thursday 8 November 2018
After an early breakfast and checkout we depart in our coach to the battlefield of Fromelles: 19-20 July 1916 where we visit:
Canadian National Vimy Memorial )Time permitting)
The 1916 Fromelles battlefield
VC Corner Australian Cemetery
'Cobbers' Memorial
Pheasant Wood Military Cemetery (Fromelles)
Visit to the new Fromelles WW1 Museum (entry included)
We then travel onwards to the Somme region, with a catered lunch after our visit to the Thiepval Memorial.
In the afternoon we visit:
Thiepval Memorial and Museum
Mouquet ("Moo-Cow") Farm
Pozieres – Windmill Memorial & Tank Memorial & 1st Division
Dernacourt (*time permitting)

We then travel to our hotel near Bethune, the modern 3-4 star Best Western La Metarie, our accommodation for the next 3 nights. (Trip Advisor Reviews) Set alongside the beautiful 14th century Chateau La Chartruese in the same expansive grounds, you have 4 restaurants and bars  to chose from in absolutely magical setting.
Welcome group dinner tonight is included. 
AccommodationBest Western La Metarie  (Trip Advisor Reviews)
Meals: B L D

DAY 4 – Friday 9 November 2018
After breakfast we then depart for Bullecourt to visit the battlefield, the "Digger" and "Slouch Hat" Memorials and *Bullecourt War Museum (*entry included.) After picnic lunch (included) we move on to Mont St Quentin to learn about the bitter battle in 1918, and to see the inspiring Australian Memorial and the quite amazing 'Historial de la Grande Guerre' museum. Travel to the the St Quentin Canal area to visit:
Sites of the American & Australian attacks on the St Quentin Canal line
The mouth of the St Quentin Canal tunnel
Return to our hotel for relaxed dinner at a local restaurant. (not included) Remainder of night free.
AccommodationBest Western La Metarie  (Trip Advisor Reviews)
Meals
: B L

DAY 5 – Saturday 10 November 2018
After breakfast we leave the hotel with our first stop the Australian National Memorial at Villers-Bretonneux and learn about this famous small town that is now the centrepiece of the Australian presence on the Western Front in WW1. This morning we will also have a chance to wander around the memorial and visit the NEW $A100M 'Sir John Monash Interpretive Centre(SJM Interpretive Centre) – the newly completed  'Jewel in the Crown' of the Australian Remembrance Trail.

We will also visIt the newly refurbished Musee Franco-Australien (museum) and the famous "Lβ€ Ecole Victoria" (Victoria School). We also visit Adelaide Cemetery - from where Australia's unknown soldier came from. After our visit here we then travel to the nearby Australian Corps Memorial Park at Le Hamel - (A stunning Monash victory - all in 90 minutes). Picnic Lunch is included. We then return to our hotel for the remainder of afternoon free.)
AccommodationBest Western La Metarie (Trip Advisor Reviews)
Meals
: B, L, D

DAY 6 – Remembrance Sunday 11 November 2018 (*Villers-Bretonneux AWM)
After an very early breakfast and checkout of our hotel ( 7am) we leave the hotel at 7.30am to retrace our steps back to the Villers-Bretonneux ANM. Today at 11am - we mark the day exactly 100 years ago when the guns on the Western Front finally fell silent and the 'war to end all wars' - was over. Over 60,000 young Australians paid the ultimate price in WW1, with 12,000 of them never found and over 200,000 wounded and maimed young men also testament to this terrible conflict. Today at 11am we will remember them - and all who fell in this war - and all wars and conflicts - for which we enjoy the freedoms that we often take for granted today.

   Today will truly be a day carved forever into history - and for you to say - I WAS THERE...

0730 Your coach will now drive direct to the ANM in Villers Bretonneux. We will disembark and remain in a group to go through airport style security screening and DVA identity passes check at the ANM itself.*.  [*New arrangements per DVA communication 09 Oct 18]

0830-0900 Arrive at the Australian National Memorial, in Villers Bretonneux. Frank your guide, will identify the location on the promenade where you should assemble at the end of the commemorations. Upon arrival at the Memorial we strongly advise that you find a seat as there is limited seating.

0830 Pre-service presentations and information commence. This includes music from the Australian Defence Force Band and the Voices if Birralee Choir.1000  Everyone to be seated

1030   Official commemoration service commences

1200  Estimated time for service to finish,

1230-1300 Upon completion of the ceremony, please assemble at the location on the promenade area advised by your guide Frank and board your coach when directed.

 (*Note: You must have registered with the DVA for the Villers-Bretonneux Armistice Ceremony. You also must carry photo ID for yourself - passport or driving licence. ALL official DVA commemoration events now to be held in France and Belgium are subject to strict new security arrangements.

1230-1300
(Approximately) Board your coach and set off for Ailly-sur-Noye.

1330 We will arrive at the historic restaurant Moulin des Ecrevisses, where we will be greeted by our host Christophe Lebee.  We will be joined by those on our extended tour. Time to relax and enjoy a delicious brunch

1500 This afternoon will be tailored by Frank your guide to family visits and other places of interest.

We will drive past Chβteau de Bertangles to see the exterior and learn of its importance when Sir John Monash used it as his HQ for planning the battles of Le Hamel and Mont St Quentin.  Unfortunately, we will not be able to visit the interior on this occasion.

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.

1800   (Approximately) arrive in Lille.

Note: Several people have decided to stay tonight at the Couvent des Minimes tonight. A hotel voucher will have been sent to those people. Please talk to Frank regarding drop off points in Lille.

Further Information:  It is usually very cold in mid November at the memorial so be prepared and wear layered clothing as the day will change from extremely cold temperatures in the morning to usually about 10-12 Celcius maximum in the afternoon.(You will have a Spirit rainproof poncho/thermal blanket in case it rains). Full details of the ceremony here:

* 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 Lille that evening/night so we recommend that you do not make travel plans for that evening.


Accommodation: None
 Meals: B L

INCLUDES
• Highly experienced and knowledgeable Military Historian/ Battlefield Guide throughout
• Executive standard coach used throughout the tour with toilet  and *WIFI (*where available)
• 1 nights' 4* Star accommodation in Lille
• 1 nights' 3+* Star accommodation in Ypres area
• 3 nights' accommodation 3-4*: Best Western La Metarie
• Breakfast daily whilst on tour (5 Breakfasts)
• 4 lunches
• 3 dinners
• Museum entrance fees
• Ploegsteert visitor centre
• Passchendaele Museum, Zonnebeke
• Fromelles WW1 Museum
• Bullecourt War Museum
• Sir John Monash Interpretive Centre – Villers-Bretoneux Memorial 
• Franco-Australian Museum (Memorial School), Villers-Bretonneux
•  V
isit to the beautiful Chβteau de Bertangles: Sir John Monash HQ
•  Special deluxe one-of-a-kind souvenir colour tour booklet
• High quality commemorative clothing: hat and backpack
• Rainproof poncho/travel blanket and commemorative name badges and lapel pin(s).
(Please note: the itinerary is subject to change at the total discretion of the guide or events before or during the tour that are - or could be beyond our control.)   

COSTS DO NOT INCLUDE
Lunches, dinners, refreshments and beverages not detailed above
Tips, porterage and all personal extras
Transport/Trains to and from start and end point
Travel/Cancellation / Medical Insurance
Passport & related fees
Any optional excursion(s not specifically stated
Items of a personal nature
                     
                             "N'oublions jamais l'Australie" (Let us never forget Australia)

 Our other Battlefields & Remembrance Websites:
 
Spirit of Remembrance: Battlefield Tours UK: Battlefield Tours Canada: Battlefield Tours New Zealand: Battlefield Tours USA:
Anzac Day 2019: Villers-Bretonneux: 2019 75th Anniversary D-Day;  Platinum Battlefield Tours: Death Railway.com; Anzac Day 2019 Hellfire Pass: Thailand