One of the most iconic battles of WW1, join us on a journey of discovery as we visit key sites of the Battle of Passchendaele in 1917.
Local departure by coach, then to Ypres for a four-night stay.
Location: Messines & Ploegsteert
Today we look at the Battle of Messines in June 1917 when British and Commonwealth tunnellers exploded nineteen mines under positions along the Messines Ridge. We start at Hill 60 where the two northernmost mines were blown, seeing the impressive Caterpillar Crater. At St. Eloi we visit the crater formed by the largest mine blown in June 1917 and at Wytschaete visit the Tunnellers Memorial. At Spanbroekmolen mine crater we examine the story of the Ulster troops who attacked here, visit the Lone Tree Crater Cemetery. After lunch at Hooge Crater we travel along the Messines Ridge to Messines itself, seeing the visitors centre, and visiting the New Zealand Memorial seeing German front line bunkers. We remember the contribution of Irish soldiers at the Irish Peace Tower and visit the southern area of the battlefield around Ploegsteert ('Plugstreet') including the Ploegsteert Memorial.
Location: Pilkem Ridge & Tyne Cot
Following Messines, the Third Battle of Ypres began on 31st July 1917 and we start at Buffs Road Cemetery where the battle began just outside Ypres. We then travel to Pilkem Ridge to look at the story of war poets Francis Ledwidge and Hedd Wyn, also seeing the Welsh Memorial. At Langemarck we see the memorial to Harry Patch, the ‘Last Fighting Tommy’ and at Poelcapelle examine the use of tanks during the Third Battle of Ypres, seeing the tank memorial. After lunch we visit the superb Passchendaele Memorial Museum at Zonnebeke, exploring their reconstructed trench system. At Tyne Cot we visit the largest British military cemetery in the world and end on the Frezenberg Ridge to see the memorial to Scottish troops.
Location: Passchendaele & Poperinghe
The Third Battle of Ypres ended with the capture of Passchendaele and today we start at the Canadian Memorial at Crest Farm before going into the village itself to see the memorial in the church. We then take time to visit the In Flanders Fields Museum in Ypres and after lunch look at life behind the lines at Ypres in 1917, see Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery and its visitors' centre, before going to Talbot House in Poperinghe and its museum. We then look at the story of men ‘Shot at Dawn’ at the Death Cells, and at Brandhoek visit the grave of medical officer Noel Chavasse VC & Bar, also seeing his memorial. We end the day in Ypres for the Last Post Ceremony at the Menin Gate.
You will have the option to book your own flights independently with the operator.
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