Nov 29, 2018

New Battlefield Tour announced! Western Front Footsteps: In the footsteps of ancestors, aftermath and memorialisation, 27 -30 September 2019

Following the success of the last three years of Bristol and West Country based battlefield tours organised with fellow historian, Clive Burlton, we are pleased to announce another trip for this coming autumn. This time our focus is not solely actions by units from the West Country but a look at associated stories of the postwar period of battlefield tourism and creation of Commonwealth War Graves Commission cemeteries.

Once again we are travelling with our partners at Bakers Dolphin. The three night, four day tour will visit key sites associated with the West Country. Travelling by executive coach we will depart from Bristol on 27 September and travel to Arras, stopping at sites of interest en route. If time permits we will visit Fresnoy near Arras where the 12th Gloucesters (Bristol’s Own) fought with heavy losses in May 1917.

The next day will be spent on the 1916 Somme battlefield with a look at the Bristol Territorials at Hebuterne and a visit to key battlefield sites including the Thiepval Memorial. On our way down to the Somme we aim to stop at Mory Abbey Military Cemetery to hear a most moving story of a father’s love for his son.

On 29 September we will journey northward to the sacred Ypres salient , the wartime cauldron for so many of Britain’s soldiers. Whilst in Ypres we will attend the Last Post ceremony at the Menin Gate and walk in the footsteps of the 1st Somerset Light Infantry in December 1914 at Ploegsteert (known as Plugstreet to the Tommies). Other key sites around the salient will be explored. Throughout the trip we will be looking at the work of the war artists such as Nash, Levinson and Orpen.

As ever, our tour is based around the stories of relatives of those who join us. Please do send us details and we will endeavour to visit individual graves and battlefield sites.

Accommodation is based at the following 3-star hotels – Holiday Inn Express (Arras) and the Novotel (Ypres). Full details of cost, what is included and contact details to reserve a space can be found on the attached flyer.

We look forward to you joining us for another wonderful few days following in some Western Front Footsteps…

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