Our tour of Remembrance provides an engaging and thought-provoking insight into the conflict of the First World War, as we reach the 100-year anniversary. With the help of expert guides, the battles, heroic struggles and trench experiences are brought to life. To achieve this we explore the areas of Flanders, Arras and the Somme, visit iconic landmarks such as Messines Ridge, Lochnagar Crater and Hell Fire Corner; spend time in the museums of Ypres and Albert; visit a number of significant memorials including Ypres’ Menin Gate, Tyne Cot Cemetery and Thiepval Memorial; view the preserved trenches in Newfoundland Park; and explore the attractive town of Ypres, dominated by its iconic Cloth Hall. You will undoubtedly be moved as your guides share with you tales of courage and human endeavour.
4 nights in hotel (accommodation as specified or similar)
Titan’s VIP door-to-door travel service collects you from home, for your journey to The Grand Hotel, Folkestone, where you will be greeted by Titan staff and meet your fellow travellers, before boarding your coaches for the journey by Eurotunnel to Calais. On arrival in Flanders we begin a full afternoon of exploration, arriving at our hotel this evening - the Mercure Lille Roubaix Grand Hotel (4T), where dinner is included on the first and last nights.
During the first two days we spend time exploring the Flanders battlefields, gaining an understanding of the battles that occurred around Ypres and Passchendaele between 1914 and 1917. Visits (subject to timings) may include Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery - the former site of Allied casualty clearing stations, the battlefields of the Ypres Salient, and Essex Farm - the dressing station that received the wounded from gas attacks, and where Colonel John McCrae composed the moving poem ‘In Flanders Fields’, which subsequently led to the poppy being adopted as the symbol of Remembrance. Visits are also planned to Langemark German Military Cemetery, the war grave at Hill 60, Hooge and Hell Fire Corner on Menin Road - and visit the site of action where the bayonet charge of the Worcesters prevented the German breakthrough to the channel ports. We move on to Messines Ridge, where in 1917, probably the first major battle was won by the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) on the Western Front. The explosions of the nineteen detonated mines were heard in London, and the lighting up of the sky as the detonations ran across the ridge was likened to 'pillars of fire’. We pay our respects to the 12,000 soldiers buried in Tyne Cot Cemetery - the largest Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) cemetery in the world - and quietly reflect on the names of the 35,000 soldiers listed on the memorial wall who have no known grave. The rebuilding of Ypres from the 1920s created a new Cloth Hall which today houses the moving In Flanders Fields Museum, telling the story of the battles of the Ypres Salient. During our time in Flanders, lunches will be purchased locally (additional cost). Dinner is included on day 1 and, following your own dinner arrangements in the town of Ypres on day 2, we attend the moving Last Post Ceremony at the Menin Gate.
Days 3-4 The Somme
These next two days are spent exploring the battlefields of the Somme. Included in the many sites we explore are the villages of Serre (where within an hour of their ‘going over the top’ the Pals’ Battalions were all but destroyed), Mametz (where the Devonshires, who lost their lives on 1st July 1916 shortly after leaving their trenches, were laid to rest in the same trenches later that day) and Fricourt (one of the German fortified villages). The iconic Hawthorne Ridge is viewed as we stand in The Sunken Lane and learn of the fate of the Lancashire Fusiliers and the preserved trenches in Newfoundland Park highlight the sacrifices made by the Newfoundland Regiment, destroyed on the first day of the battle. The Thiepval Memorial to the Missing of the Somme, designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens, is the largest British battle memorial in the world and lists the names of a further 72,000 soldiers, who also have no known grave. Our visit to The Somme 1916 Museum in Albert provides a fascinating insight into many aspects of trench life and we also view the immense Lochnagar Crater - created by a mine explosion, which was vividly described by a Royal Flying Corps pilot. On days 3 and 4, picnic lunches are included and dinner is also included on day 4.
Day 5 Arras - Calais - Folkestone
The Third Battle of Ypres (Passchendaele 1917) and The Battle of the Somme (1916) were unimaginably costly in terms of casualties with a daily rate of 2,323 and 2,943 respectively; both battles were eclipsed, however, by the Battle of Arras (launched Easter Monday 1917) with a daily average casualty rate of 4,076. Today, we explore Arras, learn of the battle and visit the underground museum of Wellington Quarry and the breathtaking Canadian National Vimy Memorial. Lunch (additional cost) will be purchased locally, before we transfer for the Eurotunnel to Folkestone, where at The Grand Hotel you will be met and guided to your Titan vehicle for the journey home.