Tour Dates:1/4 September 2017

Price Per Person: £675:00 (£90.00 Single Supplement)

Hotel: Hotel Beatus, Cambrai (Bed & Breakfast Basis)

Transport: The tour starts in London at St Pancras Eurostar Terminal, alternatively the tour can be joined in Brussels if flying direct from Ireland. 

The Irish in The Great War

                

Tour Itinerary

Day 1  - 1st September 2017

Liaising in London where, along with our expert guides, we leave St Pancras en-route to Lille to meet our tour vehicle and begin the tour.(Alternatively you can meet in Brussels if flying direct).  
 
Our first stop is to the area around Laventie where Irish pilots Mick Mannock & George McElroy saw action in the skies about the area, earning an impressive array of gallantry awards during their time in the area. An introduction to the tour and ‘scene-setting’ completes our time in Laventie before we head out to our accommodation at the Hotel Beatus Cambrai 

Day 2 - 2nd September 2017

This morning we leave Cambrai, heading north to the battlefields of September 1915 where our first port of call is the ground to the West of the village of Loos. Here the London Irish took part in their most-well known attack on 25th September on the village of Loos itself. The progress of the London Irish was arguably the most successful of the opening day and we walk the very ground that these men advanced across that morning. Next is a visit to the Loos memorial to the Missing at Dud Corner - a must to any visit to these battlefields.
 
From here we move slightly further up the line to hear the testimony and recount the action on the 2nd Day of Loos where the Irish Guards made an attack aimed towards Hill 70. Lost on this day with the 2nd Battalion was John Kipling, son of Rudyard.
 
Lunch today is taken in Loos itself with an opportunity to visit a local museum and scale the ‘Double Crassier’ positioned on the southern flank of the Loos attack with views over the entire battlefield.
 
After lunch we turn the clock back once more as we head out to the battlefields around the ‘Cuinchy Brickstacks’ where in February 1915 Guardsman Michael O’Leary of the 1st Irish Guards earned his Victoria Cross in the capture of the factory and its associated brickfields.
 
We end the day’s tour with a visit to nearby Neuve Chappelle where the Royal Munster Fusiliers were engaged in fighting at the end of March 1915 in a battle that led to major changes in British doctrine that would impact the rest of the Great War.
 
Our accommodation tonight is again at the Hotel Beatus at Cambrai.


 

Day 3 - 3rd September 2017

Today we take the short journey to the Somme where we attend any of the planned commemorations at Guillemont where the 16th Irish Division were highly instrumental in the capture of the town almost 101 years before. We will participate in the planned Irish Government events marking this historic occasion.
 
Next we study the action of the Irish Guards in the 15th September attack near Ginchy & eleven days later at Lesboeufs, recounting some of the moving stories of individuals involved in the actions.
 
Our final stop of the morning is to the area around the iconic High Wood. High Wood was the scene of some of the most bitter fighting on the entire Western Front and particularly linked to the 47th London Division amongst whose ranks the London Irish fought so well. A trip to the nearby London Cemetery stands silent testament to the ferocity of fighting in and around High Wood throughout the summer of 1916.
 
Lunch today is taken at nearby ‘Ocean Villas’, a well-known location to all troops stationed on the Somme at the time.
 
Our afternoon of touring begins with a visit to Thiepval, a location inextricably linked to Irish soldiers on the Somme. On the schedule is a visit to the stunning Ulster Tower memorial where troops of the 36th Division assaulted, and temporarily captured the infamous ‘Schwaben Redoubt’ on the morning of 1st July 1916. Here we re-tell the story of men such as Billy McFazdean, posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross for his gallant sacrifice on 1st July. A full study of that infamous day ends with a visit to the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing with its views over the surrounding battlefields.
 
Our final visit of the day is to Riencourt where one Martin Doyle was awarded the Victoria Cross.
 
A short trip back to our accommodation in Hotel Beatus, Cambrai for an evening at leisure.  

 

Day 4 - 4th September 2017 

Our final morning on the battlefields is taken up with a visit to D51 Deborah, a tank discovered recently that took part in the battle of Cambrai -  one of the real hidden gems of the battlefields.
 
Our final stand of the tour will look once more at the 36th Ulster Division and their involvement in the Battle of Cambrai.
 
Leaving the battlefields, we head back to Lille to board the Eurostar to London or Brussels for onwards flights to Belfast & Dublin