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BATTLEFIELDS 2017

New FOR 2017 They Called It Passchendaele A century ago in Flanders the year 1917 was dominated by two great offensives: the Battle of Messines in June 1917 when nineteen mines were detonated under the Messines Ridge, and the Battle of Passchendaele where men fought in terrible battlefield conditions of mud and rain. Passchendaele has become one of the most iconic battles of the First World War and this new centenary tour allows us to look at the campaign in some depth. Day 1 Local departure by coach, then to Ypres for a four-night stay. Day 2 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, visiting 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. B Day 3 Pilkem Ridge & Tyne Cot Following Messines, the Third Battle of Ypres began on 31st July 1917 and we begin at Buffs Road Cemetery where the offensive began just outside Ypres. We then travel to the Pilkem Ridge to look at the story of war poets Francis Ledwidge and Hedd Wynn, 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 Third 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. B Day 4 Passchendaele & Poperinghe The Third Battle of Ypres ended with the capture of Passschendaele 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 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 V.C. and Bar, also seeing his memorial. We end the day in Ypres for the Last Post Ceremony at the Menin Gate. B Day 5 Return home. B Included Meals: B=Breakfast 5 days from £479 Includes... • 4 nights hotel with continental breakfast • Specialist Battlefield Guide • Battlefield visits as described Plus... • Local joining points (see page 55 for your nearest) • Entrance to museums and places of interest (extra cost) Messines Ridge: remains of one of the great mine craters Your Hotel You will stay for four nights at the 3-star Novotel Ypres. This excellent hotel is located in the heart of historic town of Ypres, only a couple of minutes-walk from the Menin Gate Memorial, where the ‘Last Post’ is sounded every evening. The hotel is a firm favourite within Leger’s Battlefields programme and makes the ideal base for exploring the rich military heritage of the area. The hotel has a small bar area and restaurant. WORLD WAR I 1914-1918 Talbot House, Poperinghe Welsh Dragon Memorial, Pilkem Ridge Silver Service Tour Code: 5BYMV May 8 2017 £489 Sep 4 2017 £489 Oct 16 2017 £479 Extras: optional excursions; entrance fees to museums and places of interest; travel insurance essential, call or see website for details; single room supplement £139. For full hotel and itinerary details, visit www.leger.co.uk/tours/bym Visit www.leger.co.uk/battlefields/tours for full tour details 9


BATTLEFIELDS 2017
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