Spend ANZAC Day on the Western Front in FRANCE & BELGIUM, 23 – 25 APRIL
To see photos of our 2009 ANZAC Day tour, please click here….. To see photos of our 2010 ANZAC Day Tour, please click here
To see photos of our 2011 ANZAC Day tour, please click here….. To see photos of our 2012 ANZAC Day Tour, please click here
To see photos of our 2013 ANZAC Day tour, please click here….. To see photos of our 2014 ANZAC Day Tour, please click here
For details about our 2016 tour, Please click here
Whilst Gallipoli marked the first major involvement of ANZAC troops in World War One, it was on the Western Front in France and Belgium that saw ANZAC soldiers serve and give their lives in highest numbers during horrendous warfare. Join us for a 3 day, 2 night emotional tour of some of the major ANZAC battlefields and memorials in Northern France and Belgium.
More than 310,000 Australian troops (after their 8 month ordeal in Gallipoli) fought on the Western Front in France, with around 53,000 losing their lives. Despite all the bloodshed, ANZAC troops in particular are still remembered amongst their allies and by the local French people for their bravery and significant contributions during these terrible battles.
One example of ANZAC participation was the battle at Villers- Bretonneux where 2 Brigades of Australian troops liberated the town on ANZAC Day 1918, and not only halted a German advance but forced their retreat. Each year at the Australian memorial at Villers-Bretonneux a dawn service is held on 25 April and is attended by over 5000 people.
During our ANZAC Day on the Western Front Tour, we will attend the dawn service at Villers-Bretonneux to remember those ANZAC troops who lost their lives and also visit their memorial. The size and solitude of the memorial is awe-inspiring, a 32 meter high tower carries the name of over 11,000 soldiers who have no known grave in France. The local French people are so appreciative of the ANZAC troops that liberated their town, the local primary school (The Victoria School) in Villers- Bretonneux still carries a large sign painted in English “Do Not Forget Australia”.
On the first day we leave London at 8am and drive to Belgium and visit the Passchendaele battlefields. We spend time at Tyne Cot cemetery, the largest Commonwealth cemetery in the world which is the resting place of 11,956 Commonwealth soldiers. Tyne Cot cemetery is located on the land the Australian 3 Division captured on 4 October 1917. We also visit Polygon Wood cemetery, which is also home to the Australian 5th Division memorial. We also visit Hill 60, the site of the famous 2010 film “Beneath Hill 60”. This evening you will be given free time in central Ypres for dinner (not included) before we attend the moving Last Post ceremony at the Menin Gate. We will then drive to Lille and check into our city centre hotel around 9.30pm.
On the second day we have breakfast in the hotel (not included) and then visit Fromelles. In just one day and one night of fighting in July 1916, 5,533 Australian soldiers were killed, wounded or taken prisoner. The Australian war memorial describes the battle as “the worst 24 hours in Australia’s entire history.” After a stop for lunch (not included) we then visit Bullecourt and Pozieres. The Australians sustained massive casualties (23,000) during the battle of Pozieres, as Australian official historian Charles Bean said, “the Pozières ridge is more densely sown with Australian sacrifice than any other place on earth.” Finally today we visit the Thiepval memorial and Beaumont–Hamel trenches before we return to the hotel around 6pm for dinner in Lille (not included) and an early night!
On the third day (ANZAC Day) we have a very early start (approx 2.30am) and attend the ANZAC Day dawn service at Villers-Bretonneux, home of the Australian Memorial. You are able to visit the museum and school which has the “do not forget Australia” sign. We visit Adelaide Cemetery, and see the grave from which a unknown soldier was exhumed and taken back home and is now laid to rest in the tomb of the unknown soldier at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra. For our final stop we visit Le Hamel before our drive back to the hotel in Lille. After a brief stop in Lille to collect our bags and check out, we will drive none stop to Calais and we are expected to arrive back in London around 8pm.
During our tour we stay in the Novotel Lille Centre Gares in the centre of the beautiful French city of Lille, one of the most fought over cities in the world. All rooms are twin or double rooms and en suite. The hotel has its own bar and restaurant, but is also located in the centre of Lille and is surrounded by bars, restaurants and shops.
If you are already in France, or want to make your own way to Lille by Eurostar, you can start and finish the tour at our hotel in Lille. Tour starts at 1pm on 23 April, and finishes after 1pm on 25 April at our hotel. Make your own way and meet us and leave us at our hotel in Lille.
Please Note: We attend the Australia ANZAC Day dawn service at Villers Brettoneux, and this particular tour itinerary is intended for Australian clients.
Return Luxury Coach Travel from London Embankment to France & Belgium, (Coach with toilet and DVD player) and crossing to France.
Tours and transportation over 3 days to major ANZAC memorials and battlefields, including Pozieres, Le Hamel, Menin Gate, Hill 60 and Fromelles . (3 Days with dedicated local WWI expert tour guide.)
B&B Accommodation for 2 nights in a central Lille Novotel Hotel, breakfast included but we leave before breakfast on ANZAC Day.
Sandwich lunch on 25 April is included.
ANZAC Day Dawn service at Villers-Bretonneaux, Last Post ceremony at Menin Gate.
Services of an experienced Pillow Tour leader for duration of tour.
What’s NOT included
All food and drink which is not listed above.
Any souvenirs you wish to buy.
Your personal travel insurance suitable for a trip of this nature