This moving tour through the former battlefields of the First World War commemorates the anniversary of the Battles of Fromelles and Pozieres in July 1916. This is a very special opportunity to pay our respects to the more than 30,000 Australians who were killed or wounded in these two great battles.
Day 1: Paris to Ypres – Battlefield of Mont St Quentin
Day 2: Explore the sights on the Western Front
Day 3: Fromelles Anniversary
Day 4: Explore the battlefields in the Salient visiting key sites
Day 5: Full day touring the battlefields of the Ypres Salient
Day 6: Visits to Messines, Vimy Ridge, Bullecourt and more
Day 7: Pozieres Anniversary – Departure
Full Itinerary (Click here)
Fromelles and Pozieres Anniversary
Day 1, Fromelles and Pozieres Anniversary – 17 July Paris to Ypres
Welcome to our Western Front tour, and a moving journey to honour the fallen Diggers of Fromelles and Pozieres. The tour group will assemble at our central meeting point in Paris at 8.30am for a 9am departure. We will leave Paris and drive north towards the Belgian border. Our first stop will be the battlefield of Mont St Quentin, where Australian troops won a great victory in September 1918. We will visit the 2nd Division Memorial and preserved trenches on the site. We will then travel to Ypres, our home for the next four nights, and check into our central hotel. This evening we will enjoy a welcome dinner. (D)
STAR INCLUSIONS: Battlefield of Mont St Quentin – Australian 2nd Division Memorial and preserved trenches
Day 2, Fromelles and Pozieres Anniversary – 18 July Ypres
Between 1914 and 1918 the town of Ypres was the center of four great battles, and was completely destroyed by shellfire. Today the rebuilt town is one of the iconic places on the Western Front. This morning our Historian will take us on a walking tour around the town, visiting key sights from the war such as the magnificent Cloth Hall, St George’s Chapel, St Martin’s Cathedral, the Menin Gate and Ramparts Cemetery. After some free time for lunch, we will visit the outstanding In Flanders Fields Museum, a provocative collection of relics and displays that chronicles the fighting in Flanders and the personal stories of the people involved. This evening we will return to the Menin Gate, where the names of 54,000 missing British and Commonwealth soldiers are recorded, for the moving Last Post ceremony. The Ypres fire brigade has performed this bugle ceremony every day and in all weather since 1928. The only interruption was during the four years of German occupation during the Second World War – the ceremony recommenced on the day the town was liberated. Two of our passengers will be invited to lay a wreath on behalf of the group. (B)
STAR INCLUSIONS: Walking tour of Ypres – In Flanders Fields Museum – Participation in the Last Post service at the Menin Gate
Day 3, Fromelles and Pozieres Anniversary – 19 July Fromelles Anniversary
This morning we will drive across the French border to Fromelles, where we will join local people and visitors to commemorate the anniversary of the battle (details of commemorative events to be advised). We will then dedicate the rest of the day to exploring the Fromelles battlefield and gaining a better understanding of this ill-fated attack that cost so many young lives. We will see the Australian Memorial Park, VC Corner Cemetery (the only all-Australian cemetery in France), Le Trou Aid Post Cemetery, Rue Petillon Cemetery and the site of the mass grave where the soldiers lay for 90 years at Pheasant Wood and the new cemetery where they now lie. We will also visit the new Fromelles museum, opened in 2014, which tells the story of Australia’s disastrous involvement in the battle of Fromelles in 1916. In the afternoon we will return to Ypres and spend the evening at leisure. A packed lunch will be included today. (B, L)
STAR INCLUSIONS: Full day on the Fromelles battlefield – Anniversary commemorations – Picnic lunch
Day 4, Fromelles and Pozieres Anniversary – 20 July Ypres Salient
The Ypres Salient was a bulge in the front line that curved around Ypres for most of the war. More than a million men were killed or wounded trying to gain control of this small patch of ground. Today we will explore the Australian battlefields in the Salient, places where the Anzacs made history in 1917. Our first stop will be the Passchendaele Museum, which features a recreated British dugout. We will then visit the 5th Australian Division Memorial at Polygon Wood and see the graves of Private Hunter and Sergeant Calder, the two Australian soldiers who featured in Mat McLachlan’s documentary ‘Lost in Flanders’. Lunch is included at Cafe de Dreve, where the owner, Johan Vandewalle, will tell us about his discovery of the bodies of Private Hunter and Sergeant Calder in a Belgian field. We then get a taste of the devastation caused by four years of continuous artillery fire at the cratered landscape of Hill 60, before visiting Tyne Cot, the world’s largest Commonwealth war cemetery. Tyne Cot sits in the heart of one of the most horrific battlefields of the war – Passchendaele. Our final stop today is at the German Cemetery at Langemarck, where we will learn about the men on the other side of the line. As we drive back to our hotel we will see the magnificent Canadian memorial at Langemarck, marking the site where poison gas was first used in the war. (B, L)
STAR INCLUSIONS: Full day touring the battlefields of the Ypres Salient – Passchendaele 1917 Museum – Lunch at Cafe de Dreve – Presentation by Johan Vandewalle
Day 5, Fromelles and Pozieres Anniversary – 21 July Ypres to the Somme
Today we leave Ypres and travel south to the battlefields of the Somme. En route we will visit the battlefield of Messines, where 19 huge mines were detonated beneath the German defenders in June 1917. Crossing the border into France, we will visit the magnificent Canadian memorial at Vimy Ridge and spend time wandering the maze of preserved trenches on the site. Our final stop of the day is the battlefield of Bullecourt, where Australia lost 10,000 men in two great battles in 1917. We will pay our respects to them at the Slouch Hat memorial in the center of town and the Australian Memorial Park on the site of the German front line. After arriving in the Somme we will enjoy dinner in our hotel. A packed picnic lunch has also been included today. (B, L, D)
STAR INCLUSIONS: Touring of the battlefields between Ypres and the Somme including Fromelles, Pheasant Wood, Vimy Ridge and Bullecourt – preserved trenches
Day 6, Fromelles and Pozieres Anniversary – 22 July The Somme
Few names carry as much infamy as the Somme, and today we will explore the region that became synonymous with the carnage of the First World War. Our journey begins at the Victoria School in Villers-Bretonneux where we will see the sign that entreats the children of Villers-Bretonneux to ‘Never Forget Australia’. We will also visit Adelaide Cemetery, where Australia’s Unknown Soldier lay for 75 years before being returned to Australia in 1993. Next we will travel to the imposing Australian National Memorial at Villers-Bretonneux, which bears the names of almost 11,000 Australians missing in France. The memorial, set in the middle of one of Australia’s most famous battlefields of the war, is where the Anzac Day Dawn Service is held each year. We will also visit the brand new Sir John Monash Interpretive Centre, which tells the story of Australia’s achievements on the Western Front. Next we will visit the Australian Memorial Park on the battlefield of Hamel, scene of the great victory orchestrated by General John Monash in July 1918. After a delightful traditional lunch in the town of Albert, we will begin our tour of the 1916 battlefields of the Somme. Our first stop is the huge Lochnagar Crater, blown by the British beneath the German lines on the first day of the Battle of the Somme. We will then visit the Thiepval Memorial, where the names of 72,000 British soldiers missing from the Somme fighting are recorded. Later we will explore the trenches at the Newfoundland Memorial Park. Returning to the Somme, our evening is free. (B, L)
STAR INCLUSIONS: Full day touring the Australian battlefields of the Somme – Victoria School Museum – Traditional Somme restaurant lunch
Day 7, Fromelles and Pozieres Anniversary – 23 July Pozieres Anniversary
Today we commemorate the 101st anniversary of the start of the Battle of Pozieres, the most costly battle in Australian military history. We will walk the ground where more than 23,000 Australians were killed or wounded in six weeks of bitter fighting, and gain a unique insight into the battle in the hands of our expert historian. We then farewell the battlefields and drive back to Paris, arriving at our central drop-off point at approximately 5pm. (B)
STAR INCLUSIONS: Pozieres Anniversary commemorations
Your Tour Includes (Click here)
Fromelles and Pozieres Anniversary
- Services of an expert WW1 Historian
- All excursions, scenic drives and sightseeing as described in the itinerary
- A full day at Fromelles on the anniversary of the battle (details of commemorative events to be confirmed)
- A full day at Pozieres on the anniversary of the battle (details of commemorative events to be confirmed)
- Services of a Tour Manager, Driver, and experienced Local Guides
- Extensive touring of the WW1 battlefields
- All entrance fees as per the itinerary
- Travel by First-Class air-conditioned coach
- All tips to your Tour Manager, Historian and Driver
- Souvenir cap, document wallet and luggage tag
- Copy of Mat McLachlan’s definitive guide to the Western Front, Walking with the Anzacs
- Detailed map showing the battlefields and key sites visited on the tour
Fromelles and Pozieres Anniversary Tour
*Per person (2018), twin share, land only. Single supplement: $800.
HOW TO BOOK: Contact our reservations team on 1300 880 340 or click enquiry button below and leave your details. Deposit is $1000 per person.
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EXTEND YOUR TRIP: Spend some time in Paris before of after your tour. Ask us about discounts for pre and post tour accommodation.
GALLIPOLI FLEXI TOUR: This tour can be combined with a Flexi Tour of Gallipoli to suit your own dates and itinerary.
Please note: Itineraries are subject to change due to operational reasons. In addition, your Historian may alter the sites visited on each day to suit local conditions.