menu

History on the Western Front

Prices start from:

£195

per person

2 -
4 Days
World War 1
Belgium, France
12 - 300 travellers

Overview

The Western Front stretched all the way from the North Sea coast of Belgium to the Swiss border, covering over 400 miles. During our tour we can help you explore many of the key issues that affected those serving there as well as the key battles which took place along this front line. We can focus on any of the four major battles, which were fought in Flanders Fields, where more than 250,000 British and Commonwealth soldiers gave their lives and/or The Battle of the Somme, which started on the 1st July 1916 and by the end of the day, the British had suffered over 60,000 casualties.

For four long years Flanders Fields was the scene which epitomised the horrors of the Great War and at the heart of the Salient lies Ypres, where each evening the ‘Last Post’, the traditional final salute to the Fallen, is still played in honour of the British Empire soldiers who lost their lives.

The Battle of the Somme saw one of the largest battles of the Great War, it was not the decisive breakthrough it was intended to be and for many this is the battlefield that epitomizes the horrors of war, symbolising the futility of trench warfare.

Key Subject Knowledge

  • Medicine and medical evacuation
  • Women and the First World War
  • Diversity and the range of troops that served and where they came from
  • Technology and how it changed over the war
  • The Pals Battalions
  • Daily life in the trenches
  • The relationship between the Home Front and the Western Front
  • Propaganda and communication
  • Commemoration and legacy

 

Also available supporting elements of wider Humanities (geography, English, social sciences and citizenship)

  • The battlefield and the physical landscape
  • War poetry and war artists
  • Decision making in the British Armed Forces and the relationship between politicians and Generals
  • The different faiths that were in the British Forces

What’s included

Return Channel Crossings
Full services of an executive coach for the duration of your Battlefield Tour
Pick up and drop off from your chosen location
Full Board accommodation
Full Services of an expert Battlefield Guide
Entrance to two museums (one museum for two-day tour)
Entrance to Bayernwald Trenches
Travel Insurance
Tailormade itinerary
1 free teacher for every 10 paying students
Full administration and booking service
24 hours on call Duty Manager whilst tour is operating

Not included

Inspection visit – available at additional cost
Items not clearly shown as included

Itinerary

Below is a sample itinerary for a 3 day tour, all tours are personalised and once your tour is booked your expert guide will get in touch to start working with you to produce an itinerary for your bespoke tour.
Day 1:
Ypres
An early start, as we make our way from school, collecting our guide before crossing to Calais, en-route your guide will give you a full introduction into the First World War. Starting our tour at Essex Farm, site of an advanced dressing station and now a CWGC Cemetery, this was the location where John McCrae wrote the famous poem “In Flanders Fields” and amongst those buried here are Pte Strudwick, who died at only 15 years old and VC recipient Pte Barratt. Vancouver Corner is the site of the first ever large-scale gas attack and we will learn more about this type of warfare, under the watchful eye of ‘The Brooding Soldier”, the memorial dedicated to the men of the Canadian First Division. One of only four German cemeteries in the Flanders region, at Langemark German Cemetery, we compare the stark contrasts to our own cemeteries, including a mass grave containing 25,000 soldiers and hear some of the stories associated with this cemetery. The cemetery is the final resting place of many unexperienced young students so also has the name of “Studentenfriedhof” (Student’s Cemetery). Next, we make our way to the Passchendaele Memorial Museum, an interactive exhibition giving a good overview of the Battles of Ypres, with emphasis on the horrific Battle of Passchendaele in 1917. The Museum’s reconstructed dugouts and trenches bring the battlefield to life and allow students to experience first-hand the miserable conditions of underground warfare. Our final visit today is Tyne Cot CWGC Cemetery, hear more about the third battle of Ypres and the misery of the mud at the largest Commonwealth War Cemetery in the world. Then we head to our hostel and dinner, followed by free time and chocolate shopping!
Day 2:
Ypres
Another full day today exploring the battlefields in Flanders Fields, starting with a visit to Messines where the battle started on the 7th June 1917 with the detonation of 19 mines under the German lines, the devastation they caused can still be seen in the preserved craters at St. Eloi and Spanbroekmoelen. A short drive then takes us to one of the few sites in the area where preserved trenches can still be found, Bayernwald Trenches. In this case a section of restored German support trenches including four bunkers and two mine shafts, you will learn all about the Battle of Messines from the German perspective. Continuing the story of mining, we make a stop at Hill 60, a small area of elevated land in an otherwise flat landscape, still showing the battle scars from over a hundred years ago, with craters and bunkers. At Hooge Crater Museum, the war comes to life, with full scale reconstructions of war scenes, an extensive medical display, including an original Ford T Ambulance and reconstructed German and British trenches. Learn about how the trenches were built and gain a greater understanding of trench diseases and their treatment. Heading back to Ypres, we will visit the Menin Gate, to hear the story of this “Memorial to the Missing” and the Last Post Association. Following dinner, you will attend and participate in the Last Post Ceremony, where a few selected students will lay a wreath on behalf of the school. Highlighting the theme of remembrance, it is a time for reflection, to show respect for others and recognise the sacrifices made by an entire generation on our behalf.
Day 3:
The Somme
This morning we head for the Somme, en-route our guide will tell us about the first day of the Battle of the Somme and show us supporting videos. Our first stop sees us at Sheffield Memorial Park, where we learn about the Pals Battalions and the New Model Army. Then it is onto Newfoundland Park, which is on grounds over which the Newfoundland Regiment made their attack on the 1st July 1916, resulting in them being all but wiped out. Ulster Tower stands proudly as a memorial to the men of the 36th (Ulster) Division, who would go on to win nine Victoria Crosses during the Somme offensive and at the entrance to the Tower is a plaque commemorating their names. Overlooking the battlefield is Thiepval, the largest British Memorial in the world and here we will learn more about some of names found amongst over 72,000 inscribed on this Memorial. Just a short drive on we will stop at Lochnager Crater, the result of a huge mine that was placed under the German lines and whose massive explosion signalled the start of the Battle of the Somme. Here we take time to discuss underground warfare and the reasons behind this type of warfare. Fricourt German Cemetery contains 17,000 burials of which only 5,057 have an individual grave, communal graves contain the remainder of the dead. The famous German pilot Baron Manfred von Richthofen, known as the Red Baron, who was shot down and died on 21st April 1918, was buried here for a time before his body was moved and taken to Germany. Our final stop today before we start to make our way back to Calais sees us at Devonshire Cemetery where we learn more about the Devon’s on the first day of the Somme and in particular William Noel Hodgson the poet, who was killed on the first day of the battle and is buried in the Cemetery.

All our tours and itineraries are tailormade and put together to match your requirements, please get in touch to discuss your tour.

Pricing options

People

Days

Price per person

48
2
from £195 pp
48
3
from £299 pp
48
4
from £395 pp

Our sample prices are per student, based on 44 students (+4 staff travelling free of charge) departing November 2022. Please note all prices and tours are subject to availability and prices may vary, depending on your bespoke package, what is included and the number of students and staff travelling.

Prices start from:

£195

per person

All our tours and itineraries are bespoke and put together to match your requirements, please get in touch to discuss your tour.

Why travel with us
Got a question?

We would be happy to talk to you about your tour requirements, please get in touch to talk to an expert.

Interested in this tour?

You might also be interested in

Ypres and Christmas Markets Tour

1 -
3 Days
Belgium
History, culture, personal enrichment – just some of the things...

From £115 pp

Christmas Markets and Battlefields

2 -
3 Days
Belgium
History, culture, personal enrichment – just some of the things...

From £145 pp

Normandy Cultural History Tour

3 -
5 Days
France
Get the most out of a school trip by helping...

From £309 pp