This moving tour through the former battlefields of the First World War commemorates the anniversary of the Battle of Fromelles in July 1916, the bloodiest day in Australian military history. This is a very special opportunity to pay our respects to the more than 5500 Australians who were killed or wounded in this disastrous battle.
FROM: Paris to Paris
DURATION: 5 Days
DATES: 17-21 July, 2019DAT
PRICE: $2497* pp, twin share
Full Itinerary (Click here)
Day 1 Paris to the Somme
Welcome to our Western Front tour, and a moving journey to honour the fallen Diggers of Fromelles. 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 into the Somme region, to explore the killing fields of 1916. Highlights today include the battlefield of Pozieres, where Australian troops suffered 23,000 casualties in six weeks of fighting. We will also visit the maze of trenches at the Newfoundland Memorial Park. The Newfoundland Regiment was almost wiped out here on the first day of the Battle of the Somme. We will then drive past the Ulster Tower, modelled on Helen’s Tower in Northern Ireland, before visiting the spectacular Thiepval Memorial, where the names of more than 72,000 British men missing from the Somme fighting are recorded. We will also see Mouquet Farm, scene of a costly advance by Australian troops in August 1916. In the evening we will check into our Somme hotel and enjoy dinner. (D)
Day 2 Somme 1918 battlefields
Today we will explore the scenes of Australian courage and sacrifice in 1918. Our first stop is the village of Villers-Bretonneux, where we will visit Adelaide Cemetery, the place where Australia’s Unknown Soldier lay for 75 years before being returned to Australia in 1993. We will also visit the remarkable Victoria School, home to a wonderful small Australian museum, and where a sign in the playground entreats that the students ‘Do Not Forget Australia’. We will then drive to the Australian National Memorial, which records the names of more than 10,000 Australian soldiers missing from fighting in France. We will also visit the brand new Sir John Monash Interpretive Centre, which tells the story of Australia’s achievements on the Western Front. We will then return to our hotel, where our evening is free. (B)
Day 3 Fromelles Anniversary
We will depart the Somme this morning and drive north into Flanders. En-route we will visit the battlefield of Bullecourt, where Australia lost more than 10,000 men in two great battles in 1917. We will then travel to Fromelles, where we will visit VC Corner Cemetery, the Australian Memorial Park and the site of the recently-discovered mass grave at Pheasant Wood. We will then join local people and visiting Australians for a commemoration service to mark the anniversary of the battle. In the evening we will drive to Ypres, just across the Belgian border, check in to our hotel and enjoy dinner (B, L, D)
Day 4 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 spot where poison gas was first used in the war. This evening we will walk 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 the memorial opened in 1927. 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, L)
Day 5 Ypres to Paris
Our final day on the battlefields will see us returning to France, and visiting the impressive 2nd Division Memorial at Mont St Quentin. The memorial, depicting an Australian soldier, marks the scene of a great Australian victory in 1918. We will then return to Paris in the afternoon, where sadly our tour will end. (B)
Your Tour Includes (Click here)
Fromelles and Pozieres Anniversary
- Services of an expert WW1 Historian (and Tour Manager if the group exceeds 30 passengers)
- All excursions, scenic drives and sightseeing as described in the itinerary
- Commemoration service for the anniversary of the Battle of Fromelles (details of commemorative events to be confirmed)
- Extensive touring of the WW1 battlefields
- All entrance fees as per the itinerary
- Travel by comfortable, air-conditioned transport
- All tips to your 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 Anniversary Tour
*Per person, 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.
Ask about our airfare deals, which offer great discounts when booked in conjunction with our tours.
Full terms and conditions click here
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.
Experience the scenic Rhine or Danube on an Amadeus river cruise, the perfect extension to your Western Front tour. Visit www.amadeus-rivercruises.com.au for more information.