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Museum News

Unique Western Front Battlefield Tour, 18-20 September

By 15 April 2015January 11th, 2021No Comments

This exclusive Western Front Battlefield tour, led by military historian Andrew Robertshaw, is a unique event devised by Battle Honours Ltd specifically for the Weald & Downland Open Air Museum.

Join us for a Western Front Battlefield tour, 18-20 September 2015

On the tour you will discover the stories of the men from the Weald and Downland region who fought and fell in the conflict, as well as studying the work of the Army Veterinary Corps and Army Service Corps supply units whose vital contribution is often overlooked when visiting the battlefields.

Tour guide

Andy Robertshaw, who is also a writer and broadcaster, was a specialist adviser to Steven Spielberg’s compelling film, Warhorse.

During his career Andy has worked as Curator/Manager of The Royal Logistic Corps Museum in Deepcut and, prior to that, was the Head of Education at The National Army Museum in London. He regularly lectures to international audiences on many aspects of British military history and is an expert in the field.

Andy worked in collaboration with the Museum on our 2014 Horses at War event, so it is fitting that this unique tour will focus on the Ypres Salient and in particular the role of animals in the Great War alongside the men who cared for them.

Itinerary

Based in the delightful town of Dixsmuide the tour includes:

  • Morning pick up from the Museum (there is plenty of free parking)
  • Executive coach travel throughout with an on-board toilet
  • Return ferry crossings
  • Two nights’ stay in a twin room at the Hotel De Vrede Dixsmuide, a three-star family run hotel
  • Breakfast on both mornings and group evening meal in Dixsmuide on the first night
  • Andrew Robertshaw as guide throughout group participation in the Last Post Ceremony at the Menin Gate.

Day One

Morning pick up from the museum and onward transfer to Ypres:

You will stop at Lijssenthoek Cemetery to set the scene of the tour and study the work of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. The tour continues to Ypres with visits to:

  • Gheluvelt Plateau (movement and the war in 1914)
  • Vancouver Corner (technology and the war in 1915)
  • Hill 60 (stalemate and the war in 1916)
  • Group meal at the hotel and talk/presentation from Andy Robertshaw.

Day Two

A full day study of the Great War including:

  • Yorkshire Trench (Life of a Tommy)
  • Tynecot Cemetery & Visitors Centre
  • Polygon Wood (Tanks, Artillery & Supply)
  • Hooge (tactics and the war in 1917)
  • Hellfire Corner (backs to the wall and the war in 1918)
  • Free time for an evening meal in Ypres and group participation in the Last Post Ceremony at the Menin Gate.

Day Three

A morning’s study of the Messines Ridge/Ploegsteert area:

  • The Irish Peace Tower and the New Zealand Memorial.
  • Ploegsteert Wood and Memorial
  • Return to the UK and museum.

During the tour Andy will discuss the use of animals for essential war work alongside the vital supply lines keeping the fighting front active. Any personal visits possible in the area could be arranged provided Battle Tours have the details well in advance.

How to book

The price for this unique opportunity is £425.00 per person (£60 single supplement), an element of which will go to support the work of the Museum. To enable everyone to explore the area in detail and for each tour to be a personal experience, numbers are limited to 20 people.

To book, please visit the Battle Tours Ltd website to download a booking form. Please include the reference no. 15/27 in the top right corner of your application form.

Alternatively, please phone Katie Jardine at the Museum on 01243 811363 and she will send the booking form to you and provide more details.

Image credit: Peckham Crater Messines. Copyright Mike Sheil.