ANZACS on the Western Front - Dawn Ceremony
The Australian War Memorial in Villers-Bretonneux commemorates the battle of 24-25 April 1918, during which Australian and Commonwealth Soldiers liberated the town. In front of it lie the graves of thousands of Commonwealth soldiers - including over 770 Australians. Since 2008, the memorial has been the site of the special ANZAC Day service. Join us as we experience this unique event on our six-day ANZAC tour, departing 22 April 2020 - and join fellow countrymen and local townspeople in remembering those who fought during the Great War at one its most poignant sites.
Travel Dates: From 22/04/2020 to 27/04/2020
Duration: 6 days
Company: Back Roads Touring
- Take time to pay respects at your relatives' graves
Witness the ANZAC Day Service on April departures
Delve into history at the Franco-Australian Museum in Villers-Bretonneux
DAY 1 Lille-Ypres
The first day of our tour will take us from Lille to Ypres via the historic Messines Ridge. After walking in the footsteps of WWI soldiers at the Passchendaele battlefields (where allied forces fought to break the German line in 1917), we’ll pay our respects at Polygon Wood and Tyne Cot Military Cemetery. After that, we’ll have plenty of time to visit the shell-scarred Hill 60 and fascinating Hooge Crater Museum before we return to Ypres for the evening - where a welcome dinner awaits us. Accommodation: TBC
DAY 2 Ypres
After this morning’s breakfast, we’ll continue to delve into the moving stories of the West Flanders Front with an included visit to the In Flanders Fields Museum - a unique institution that commemorates the four-year trench war and conveys a contemporary message of peace. This afternoon, you’ll be free to explore Ypres as you please - and this evening, we’ll have the privilege of attending the playing of the Last Post under the iconic Menin Gate. Accommodation: TBC
DAY 3 Ypres-Amiens
Today it’s out of Belgium and onwards to Flanders. Our destination? Fromelles, the site of the disastrous attack of 19 July 1916 - where we’ll pay a poignant visit Pheasant Wood Cemetery and the new exhibition nearby. Then: we’ll move on to the Wellington Quarries, where New Zealand engineers dug tunnels to the Front as part of the preparations for the Battle of Arras. We’ll remember Australia’s role in this battle at Bullecourt with a stop at the Digger Memorial later this afternoon. Accommodation: Hôtel Le Prieuré (or similar)
DAY 4 Amiens - Anzac Ceremony - Amiens
After an early start, we’ll leave the hotel and make our way to the ANZAC Day Ceremony at the Australian War Memorial in Villers-Bretonneux. The service will be an unforgettable and emotive experience, which we’ll share both with locals and with fellow Australians and New Zealanders who have journeyed here to pay tribute to the brave ANZAC soldiers who fought for the town. The rest of the day will be yours to spend at your leisure. Accommodation: Hôtel Le Prieuré (or similar)
DAY 5 Amiens-The Somme-Amiens
The Somme still captivates the soul - and it’s here that the ANZACs first saw major action in 1916. Today we’ll visit Pozières and Mouquet Farm (sites that were especially important for Australian soldiers), as well as Longueval and Flers - which were similarly significant to the Kiwis. Before we reminisce on our tour at this evening’s farewell dinner, we’ll also take some time to remember the colossal loss experienced by Great Britain, with a visit to the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing of the Somme. Accommodation: Hôtel Le Prieuré (or similar)
DAY 6 Amiens-Villers Bretonneux-Lille
As the home of the National War Memorial, Villers-Bretonneux is central to Australian WWI commemoration and memory. Today we’ll visit the Franco-Australian Museum and the Sir John Monash Centre before shifting our focus to the last year of the war - 1918 - with a visit to Le Hamel, the site of the successful 4 July attack. Then, it’s back to Lille we go - where our tour will come to a close.
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