Battlefield Trip to Leper/Ypres - Details, Times, and Links, etc
This tour will be led by Professor Mark Connelly on behalf of The Friends of Barham Church
The date is Saturday, 15th September 2018, leaving Barham Post Office at 06.30
A suggestion - that you pack a picnic breakfast, and possibly a picnic lunch too, plus something to drink, plus . . . . . click here to see more below.
The West Flanders city of Ypres witnessed five great battles fought during the course of the First World War. This September marks the centenary of the ‘liberation offensive’ in which Albert, King of the Belgians, led a coalition of forces which finally defeated the Germans in this region of the Western Front.
For this battlefield tour we will concentrate on the village of Zonnebeke, which sits just below Passchendaele, and was a key objective in the 1917 battles. From this point we will explore the unique Belgian soldiers’ graves in the local cemetery, and (for those happy to do so) we will walk the battlefield up to Tyne Cot Cemetery, the largest Commonwealth War Graves Commission cemetery in the world with some 12,000 graves and the names of 35,000 missing inscribed on panels.
For those less keen on the walk, there will be the opportunity to visit the Passchendaele Memorial Museum and gardens of remembrance, and then take the coach up to Tyne Cot Cemetery. We will also visit Polygon Wood, which was the site of a major Australian-British and New Zealand operation in September 1917.
Following our visits to these sites we will go into Ypres for a short walking tour in the footsteps of the original pilgrims (as they were known) of the 1920’s.
We will then go to the Square in Ypres for an early dinner (see arrangements below, or find a restaurant of your choice if you prefer).
Finally, after a meal, we will rejoin the coach and head off to the Menin Gate for the Last Post ceremony.
MENIN GATE CEREMONY IS AT 8.00pm (20:00 hours)
The programme for the Ceremony is as follows
- 7.00 pm: People Gather at the Menin Gate
- 7.30 pm: The Traffic is Stopped
- 7.55 pm: The Buglers Arrive
- 8.00 pm: Sounding of Last Post
- Take Part & Lay a Wreath at the Ceremony
- Hear Last Post and Réveille
- How the Tradition Began
- The Origin of ‘Réveille’ and ‘Last Post’
- The Ypres Bugles
The Gate contains the names of nearly 54,000 missing. The Menin Gate was unveiled in July 1927. A year later members of the local community began sounding the Last Post as a tribute to the British Empire dead of the salient. The ceremony has been held every night since then except for the period 1940-1944 when the city was under Nazi occupation.
After the ceremony we return to our coach to depart Ypres at 20.30 and will then drive back for the 23.45 Shuttle.
We we will arrive back in Barham at approximately 11.30 pm UK time.
Final points- we plan to leave Barham Village Hall at 06.30 hours. Given this early start you may wish to bring your breakfast with you!
Points and suggestions for the trip
# remember your passport
# Euros might be a good idea
# pack a picnic breakfast, and / or a picnic lunch too, plus something to drink, as no meal stops planned on the way
# bring appropriate wet / cold weather gear, footwear, etc
The coach does have a loo on board, however we will make stops en route.
re an evening meal, this needs to be before we go to Menin Gate for the ceremony (see timings above), and Diana Forrest has kindly booked a restaurant for us all to have dinner in the Square. This will be at your own expense. The restaurant is Les Halles - see link below
In view of the number of people involved, and maybe adverse weather conditions, a VOX TOUR GUIDE SYSTEM has been arranged to assist with hearing Mark, our guide, during the tour. This comes at an extra cost of £3 per person.
Thank you all for supporting the 'Friends' in this adventure. And,with Mark as our expert guide we can look forward to an interesting and informative day.