Australian Battlefield Tours

 

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

 

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Why book with us?

New! 2019/20 WW1/2 Canal Boat Battlefield Tours!!

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

2020 WW1 **NEW!** Canal Cruise WW1 Battlefields

2020 WW1 Anzac Day at Villers-Bretonneux France  1 Day Tour: Paris - Paris: 24/25 April 2020  

2019/2020 WW1 Anzac Day at Villers-Bretonneux France  Value & Dlx Tour Options: 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: Anzac Day at Villers-Bretonneux

2019 PREMIUM 'ANZACS REMEMBERED' (*Choice of Deluxe OR Value Accommodation)
**** SEE BELOW FOR OUR 2020 ANZAC DAY VILLERS-BRETONNEUX CRUISE/TOURS ***

STOP PRESS! 25 February 2019: URGENT!
***
Thanks to the 25 thousand plus people that have read and reacted so strongly to our Facebook campaign to reverse the shameful change of the Villers-Bretonneux Dawn Service to a 10am 'Morning Tea' Service.. we have now had the Prime Minister overide this DVA travesty ..and it's back where it belongs.. a Dawn Service at Villers-Bretonnex !
Follow our Facebook Comments page on this decision:

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 by their nemesis - the British High Command.

On this powerful and inclusive 5 night/6 day "Anzacs Remembered" Tour (including the Villers-Bretonneux Anzac Day ceremony) we follow in our diggers footsteps to the places where the Australian reputation was established as one of the finest fighting forces in WW1 on the Western Front, staying for three nights in either the breathtaking 4*+ star 17th century chateau Le Domaine de la Chartreuse (*Deluxe Accommodation version) or the adjacent 3*+ Best Western La Metairie

(Le Domaine de la Chartruese is a real 17th century French chateau  Set within beautiful grounds with lovely spacious rooms, you have 4 restaurants and bars to chose from in an absolutely magical setting. (If this is your big overseas trip of a lifetime - this accommodation option is worth it.. truly. It is one of our favourite accommodation venues in France - if not all of Europe.)

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 Villers-Bretonneux Anzac Day Ceremony.

* This tour also includes a visit to the new Sir John Monash Centre, the 'Jewel in the Crown of the Australian Western Front Remembrance Trail.

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*** 2020: 'Anzacs Remembered' Premium Cruise/Tour: (Includes Anzac Day Villers-Bretonneux ) 22-30 April 2020: Lille-Lille   Details to be released end April 2019: Preview: ****

*** 2020: 'Anzacs Legend' Value Cruise/Tour: (Includes Anzac Day Villers-Bretonneux ) 18-25 April 2020: Lille-Lille   Details to be released end April 2019: Preview: ****

         
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2019: 'Anzacs Remembered':
(* Premium or Value Accommodation Option)
At a Glance...
Your Guide
: A FULLY certified SOR Historian/Battlefield Guide
Dates: Sat 20 April - Thursday 25 April 2019
Duration: 5 Nights/6 Days
Starts: Lille (France) Finishes: Arras/Lille (France) 
Tour Code: DELUXE: VB196DLILD (Deluxe Accommodation)
Tour Code: VALUE: VB196DLILV (Value Accommodation)
Tour Cost: €2120.00 Per Person Share Twin/Double (Deluxe Accommodation)
Tour Cost: €1745.00 Per Person Share Twin/Double (Value Accommodation)
Single Room Supplement: (Deluxe Accommodation) €890.00
Single Room Supplement: (Value  Accommodation)  €680.00
*Booking Form

Day 1 - Saturday 20 April 2019
Arrival Day for your Tour. Day/Evening at leisure after you arrive in Lille and check into your Lille Hotel.
Accommodation:  3* + Lille Hotel
Meals: 
Nil

Day 2 – Sunday 21 April 2019
8.30 am  – Meet Guide and coach at your Lille hotel and then take the short drive to the Ypres Salient. During our day we will have visits to: (not necessarily in order shown)
Messines Ridge – 3rd Australian Division attack, NZ Division attack.
Ploegsteert Visitor Centre (entry included)
Hill 60 – Australian Tunnelling Company Memorial. 'Beneath Hill 60'
Menin Road & Polygon Wood – 5th (Australian) Division Memorial
Broodseinde NZ Div Memorial (time permitting)
Passchendaele Memorial Museum, Zonnebeke – entry included
Lunch at Kolikoo restaurant
Tyne Cot War Cemetery
Dinner at a local Ypres restaurant (included)
Late afternoon/evening check in to our 4* Ypres area hotel
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: 3-4* Ypres Area hotel
Meals: L D

Day 3 – Monday 22 April 2019
After an early breakfast and checkout we depart in our coach to the Somme district to visit
Thiepval Memorial
Pozieres – Windmill Memorial & Tank Memorial & 1st Division
Mouquet ("Moo-Cow") Farm
Dernacourt
We then retrace our steps to Fromelles, stopping for a  a picnic lunch enroute where we will hear of the bloodbath that was Fromelles and the bloody terrible entry of the AIF to the Western Front on 19-20 July 1916.
Here we visit:
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 will then travel to Bethune & for our accommodation for the next 3 nights: either the beautiful 17th century 4*+ French chateau: Le Domaine de la Chartreuse (Gosnay) *Deluxe Accommodation) or the adjacent 3*+ Best Western La Metairie (Value Accommodation)
Dinner tonight is at a local French restaurant in nearby Bethune.

Accommodation: Either: Deluxe Room: 4*+ Chateau le Domaine de la Chartruese, Gosnay
Accommodation: Either: Value Room: 3*+ Best Western La Metaire
Meals: B L D

DAY 4 – Tuesday 23 April 2019
After breakfast we then travel to Mont St.Quentin to learn about the bitter battle in 1918 and see the inspiring Australian Memorial. Here we will also see:
The St Quentin Canal area
Sites of the American & Australian attacks on the St Quentin Canal line
American Somme Cemetery: Bony
The mouth of the St Quentin Canal tunnel
Le Quesnoy. NZ Division's final fight of WW1 (time permitting)
After a Picnic lunch we then depart for Bullecourt to visit the battlefield, the "Digger" and "Slouch Hat" Memorials and *Bullecourt War Museum (*entry included.)
Return to the Chateau for gala dinner. Remainder of night free.
 
Accommodation: Either: Deluxe Room: 4*+ Chateau le Domaine de la Chartruese, Gosnay
Accommodation: Either: Value Room: 3*+ Best Western La Metaire
 Meals: B L D

DAY 5 – Wednesday 24 April 2019
After breakfast we leave the hotel with our first stop the famous Wellington Quarry in Arras (La Carriere Wellington) This world famous amazing underground museum is where the Allies launched their audacious attack on 9 April 1917 in the Battle of Arras - at the same time the Canadians launched their successful assault at Vimy 12 miles to the north of Arras. Miles of underground tunnels were carved out by Kiwi tunnellers in the Wellington (Named after Wellington NZ) quarry complex, housing up to 24,00 Allied troops for the attack.

We will then stop in Arras centre for a light *lunch break (*not included) before we visit the amazing Vimy Memorial at Vimy Ridge, and learn how an all Canadian assault on the *9th April (*Vimy Ridge Day) took this impregnable fortress. This date (9 April) is equivalent to all Canadians as Anzac Day is to all Australians. Vimy is an amazing and truly inspirational memorial and sits on top of Vimy Ridge - and is Canadian 'Holy Ground'. Spirit took 600 Canadians here on 9 April 2017 for the 100 year centenary of Vimy - attended by OVER 25,000 Canadians.

After visiting the Vimy memorial ** we will then return to our hotel for the evening and to prepare for tomorrow's historic Villers-Bretonneux Anzac Day event (Australian National Memorial) and your visit to the newly opened Sir John Monash Centre.
(*Dinner is not included tonight)

Accommodation: Either: Deluxe Room: 4*+ Chateau le Domaine de la Chartruese, Gosnay
Accommodation: Either: Value Room: 3*+ Best Western La Metaire
Meals: B (*L *D) (*Lunch, Dinner not included)

DAY 6 – Thursday 25 April 2019

Check out of our hotel early this morning for our drive to the Anzac Day Dawn service at 5.30 am at the AWM at Villers-Bretonneux.

The Official Anzac Day Dawn Service - 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. Safety lighting is installed at the entrance and through the cemetery, but you may wish to bring a torch to assist with visibility.

Temporary seating is installed at the site. Seating will be made available for only a limited amount of 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.

Security will be very strict at the ceremony and we want to allow plenty of time for security processing. Note: Security arrangements for todays Anzac Day ceremony at Villers-Bretonneux will have us first arriving with plenty of time for security processing and parking our tour coach at a major car/coach parking area nearby. (Please keep your passport with you for photo ID.)

Once at Villers-Bretonneux we will disembark and take our positions during the pre-commemorative service which starts around 4 am. The Dawn Service itself will start at 5.30 am. It is usually VERY cold before dawn at the memorial so be prepared and wear layered clothing as the day will change from sub freezing temperatures in the early morning to usually quite a warm day.(You will have a Spirit rainproof poncho in case it rains).

 0330 (Approx) Coach arrives at Villers-Bretonneux Australian National Memorial for Dawn Service. On arrival we will undergo strict security screening before entering the Memorial grounds.

0400 (4 am) Pre-Service program starts at 4 am. Commemorative program to explore the Australian experience of WW1. (Everyone MUST be seated by 4.30am)
 
5:30 am: Dawn Service commences. A truly historic event.

Should you have relatives buried here please advise us previously - or your guide so he can locate them or consult the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website at www.cwgc.org
(** We can also provide wreaths for you to lay if you advise us in advance)

After  the Service
: Finish at 0730 am. Please join other group members on the promenade area ready for pickup before 8 am.

What facilities are available during the Dawn Service?
● Temporary toilets, including disabled toilets, and hand washing facilities
● First Aid Services
● Rubbish bins
● Bottled Water (free)

After the Ceremony
0800
Depart from AWM at Villers Bretonneux by tour transport.

0900 (9 am) Breakfast/brunch at delightful Le Moulin des Ecrevisses restaurant Approx)

1100 (11 am) Depart restaurant.(Approx) 

 We then visit the Franco-Australian Museum in Villers-Bretonneux *Musee Franco-Australien (museum) & the famous "Lā Ecole Victoria" (Victoria School). ("Never forget Australia") and the new
Sir John Monash Centre

In the late afternoon we will visit Le Hamel ('Over in 90 minutes'- scene of Sir John Monash's superb  logistics planning to win this pivotal battle in 90 minutes..) Pozieres and the Windmill Memorial, plus 1st Australian Memorial, and Mouquet Farm. Hear the Australian story of the the living hell of bloody Pozieres and how - in this horrific battle - Australia took over 23,000 casualties in 6 weeks with over 6800 men killed in action.

After this we then leave the area after a short break before returning to Lille via a rest stop enroute.  Arrival in Lille is expected to be approximately 200-2100 (8-9 pm) All timings are approximate as is the arrival time back in Lille.

What facilities are available during the Dawn Service?
● Temporary toilets, including disabled toilets, and hand washing facilities
● First Aid Services
● Rubbish bins
● Bottled Water (free)

Accommodation: None
 Meals: B(Brunch)

INCLUDES
• Highly experienced and knowledgeable Military Historian/ Battlefield Guide throughout
• Executive standard transport used throughout the tour.
• 1 nights' 4* accommodation in Ypres area
• 3 nights' accommodation as chosen: either: 4+* Le Domaine de la Chartreuse
• 3 nights' accommodation as chosen: either: 3+*  Best Western La Metairie
• Breakfast daily whilst on tour. (including Brunch on Anzac Day) (5 Breakfasts)
• 3 lunches
• 3 dinners
• Museum entrance fees
• Ploegsteert visitor centre
• Passchendaele Museum, Zonnebeke
• Fromelles WWW Museum
• Bullecourt War Museum
• ** Sir John Monash Interpretive Centre – Villers-Bretoneux
• Franco-Australian Museum (Memorial School), Villers-Bretonneux
• Luggage tags
•  Special deluxe souvenir colour tour booklet 
• High quality commemorative clothing: hat and shoulder satchel/backpack
• Rainproof Poncho

(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

(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.

*** A major change was made on 24 January 2019 - through DVA changing the 5.30 am Anzac Day Dawn Service to a 10 am Service. All tour participants have now been advised and this itinerary changed to reflect this major change of this.***

UPDATE 25 FEBRUARY 2019
** A TOTAL reversal of the change above FROM A DAWN SERVICE TO A 10 am SERVICE was made by the Australian Prime Minister on 25 February - who overrode the DVA 10 am decision - to CHANGE IT BACK TO A 5.30 am DAWN SERVICE. This has resulted in a lot of extra work to cancel and rebook museum timings etc - and other area visits for the day, which had already been cancelled and rebooked from the 10am decision, so timings could be not as originally planned in our original 5.30 am Dawn Service timings. We apologise for any issues this has caused - however it was/is totally beyond our control - and caused totally because of the handling of this event by the Australian Department of Veteran Affairs. **



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

TERMS & CONDITIONS
• Deposit: (€400 p/person)
• Final Payment 100 days prior to departure
• Please see Website for full Terms & Conditions
                    
                             "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 USA: 75th Anniversary D-Day;  Anzac Day Hellfire Pass: Thailand