Military History Tours Polygon Wood and Passchendaele (Belgium) 27 September – 10 October 2017
Polygon Wood and Passchendaele
Polygon Wood was a success where dash, gallantry and good leadership held the advance together and all the objectives were captured but at again with a large casualty rate. Passchendaele followed a few days later, although a different Division than that which fought at Polygon Wood. This action was fought in a quagmire, caused by the British artillery followed by incessant rain and this became one of the most notorious killing fields of the Western Front.
The 1st, 2nd and 3rd Australian Divisions captured Broodseinde Ridge on 4 October 1917. It was a vital victory. But, then it began to rain. Five days later the 2nd Australian Division suffered heavily in a further attack in the mud. Finally, on 12 October, another attack, involving the 3rd Division assisted by the 4th, was made against the village of Passchendaele atop the main ridge. In the face of heavy fire, the men fought in the mire while struggling to keep up with their artillery barrages. Ground was taken but it could not be held. In wretched conditions, with casualties mounting at an appalling rate, the Australians had to fall back. The troops were finally exhausted and could do no more; by 15 November they handed over to the Canadians.
Price: from $4,995.00 (15 days / 14 nights) per person twin share, single supplement $1,300.00. (Price may vary due to volatility of the Australian Dollar on the international currency market.)
Included in the tour price:
Not included in tour price:
24 September 2017 – BRUSSELS:
Arrival day into Brussels. Our hotel will be the Novotel at Brussels airport. Our tour leader/historian will meet flights if requested and assist with transfers to the hotel. An evening briefing of tour arrangements followed by a group dinner. D
25 September 2017 – BRUSSELS to LENS:
Our tour departs for Lens from our Brussels hotel, at 0900. After settling into our hotel in Lens, the rest of the day is free to relax, use the pool or enjoy the services of one of the few 4 star properties in the Somme B/D
26 September 2017 – LENS:
This was the start of the Battle of Polygon Wood. We will attend the Government Commemorative Service to remember that battle of 100 years ago. The rest of the day will be kept free for any other special services or events that the Government might plan. B/L/D
27 September 2017 – LENS:
After breakfast we will return to the Battlefields of the Salient to visit Hill 60 and Messines. These actions were completely different but most important to the conduct of the War. At Hill 60 the 1st Australian Tunneling Company took over the tunnels and mines and was responsible to keep intact two (2) great mines being prepared for a major assault to break the enemy front. This involved the Diggers in ferocious underground fighting. Messines was a major attack following the blowing of 19 great mines under the ridge. In this days fighting, the Australian 3rd and 4th Divisions and the New Zealand Division defeated the Germans on one of the strongest sectors of their entire front. B/D
28 September 2017 – LENS:
After breakfast, we head south into the Somme. Today, we will visit Peronne and the Historial Museum at Peronne followed by dinner in the Museum. B/L/D
29 September 2017 – LENS:
After breakfast your coach will depart for a day touring the Somme battlefields. Your Military Historians travelling with you will brief you during the day on events and the significance of the places you visit. During the touring you will visit many of the battle sites, memorials and cemeteries of the Somme and today we intend to visit Beaumont Hamel, Pozieres, Thiepval, Dernancourt and the Lochnagar Crater. B/L/D
30 September 2017 – LENS:
With your box lunch for sustenance, you will again be led through the Somme battlefields by your historian. Today it is our intention to visit Delville Wood, Mont St Quentin, the 2nd Division Memorial, Bellenglise, the 4th Division Memorial, Maissemy, the Riqueval Canal and where the Australian Corps under General Monash finished the War, at Montbrehain. This is where where the Australian Corps under General Monash finished the War as they where taken out of the field on 5 October 1918 to rest and train. The War ended before they were required again. Dinner in our hotel. B/L/D
1 October 2017 – LENS:
After breakfast, and based on individual requirements, your Military Historian on board will aim to get you to places you need to visit. Our hospitality vehicle will support in this task. This is our Villers-Bretonneux Day, when we spend time looking at the area of those important battles, the Victoria School, Musee Australien and the Adelaide Cemetery that was the previous place of rest for the unknown soldier who is now at rest in Canberra. Le Hamel and Sailly le Sec will also be visited today. Dinner in our hotel. B/L/D
2 October 2017 – LENS:
Today, we will visit Amiens early afternoon as tonight you are granted leave. A free night in Amiens to view the Cathedrale Notre Dame (larger than Notre Dame in Paris), then find your own special French restaurant on the river running through town, and for the ladies especially, shop! On the way to Amiens we visit Compiegne to see the actual site of the signing of the Armistice.
Coach transport will be provided in and out of Amiens. B/L
3 October 2017 – LENS:
This morning following breakfast, we head north to Ieper to prepare for the major service at Passchendaele where so many were lost in the mud of that battle. As we head north to Ieper we will visit the battlefield of Bullecourt. Dinner in our hotel. B/L/D
4 October 2017 – LENS:
This morning we will head to Poperinge where during the War, being out of gun range, it was an important rear recreation area for those out of the line. There is also a dark part of its history due to the location of the execution post used by the British during by the War. Dinner in our hotel. B/D
5 October 2017 – LENS:
After breakfast, we have a change of pace. Just relax or take your coach to Bruges for a sightseeing and shopping excursion where the lace and chocolates are said to be the best in the world. The coach will collect everyone and take you to leper late afternoon, where you are free to have dinner under your own arrangements and then attend the Last Post ceremony at the Menin Gate. B
6 October 2017 – LENS:
We spend this last day within the area of the Salient battles and visit Broodseinde Ridge, Menin Road, the Hooge Crater and Zonabeke. Broodseine Ridge was the most important of the Australians' actions in 1917 and potentially the most decisive. Menin Road was one of the most famous names of the wartime leper Salient. The road runs from leper due east towards the frontline and was one of the main arteries of the entire battlefield. Dinner in our hotel. B/L/D
7 October 2017 - LENS:
This is the time 100 years ago that final plans for the battle for Passchendaele for the Australians were made. The 2nd Division was to attack towards the Keiburg Spur. It was a desperate fight and the Australians suffered many casualties. Having held some of their objectives, due to the great cost, they were forced to withdraw in the night. We will hold our own Commemorative Service. The Service will be held at the Tyne Cot Cemetery which is one of the largest on the Western Front and situated right on the ground over which the Australians fought. B/L/D
8 October 2017 – IEPER to BRUSSELS:
After breakfast we say farewell to the Ieper Salient as we head of to Brussels. The coach will have (2) drop points. You will be at the airport or downtown by 1300. B
1. GENERAL: This tour has been prepared by Military History Tours (MHT).
2. Military History Tours (MHT), urges you to read the booking terms and conditions and contact us if you need any clarification. At the time of publishing this on the internet, the arrangements outlined in it, the price and the inclusions were all confirmed. However, MHT reserves the right to make amendments to the program and the price, should conditions beyond the control of MHT change.
3. DEPOSITS: A deposit of AUD $500.00 per person is required to secure a booking on the tour.
4. BOOKINGS: Bookings can be made direct with MHT. The registration form enclosed must reach MHT, together with the deposit, to secure a reservation.
5. FINAL PAYMENT AND CANCELLATIONS: Final payment will be required NLT 30 June 2017. Any cancellations prior to this date will be entitled to a full refund. After 30 June 2017 any cancellation will be subject to the cancellation policy of the hotels and other service providers. You should consider cancellation insurance if you believe you may have to cancel arrangements close to these dates.
6. TRAVEL DOCUMENTS: If you are travelling on an Australian passport, you will not need visas to visit France. However, we recommend that your passport has a minimum of 6 months validity at the time of your departure from Australia. If you are travelling on other than an Australian passport you should check with MHT on the requirements.
7. ACCOMMODATION: All hotels used in this tour are at least 3 and 4 star standard.
8. CHILDREN AND INFANTS: No deposits are required for children under 12 years of age. However, they should be detailed on the registration form so that appropriate accommodation is provided. The cost for children and infants, under 3, will be provided on request.
9. SPECIAL REQUESTS: Should you have special food requirements or a disability that will require special handling please detail it on the registration form.
10. INSURANCE: It is not acceptable for MHT to accept people on its tours who are not holding appropriate travel insurance.
11. INCLUSIONS AND EXCLUSIONS: A list of the inclusions and exclusions is included on the program.
12. TOUR CANCELLATION: MHT reserves the right to cancel this tour at any time prior to commencement should booking numbers be insufficient to cover costs. Should the tour be cancelled subject to this clause, all payments made to MHT will be refunded, less any funds not able to be recovered from suppliers.
13. SUMMARY: MHT has run battlefield tours for over 20 years. If you join this tour, MHT guarantee that should you have a specific Australian grave site to visit for family or other reasons, and providing it is registered with CWGC, we will make every effort to have you visit the site and have time to lay a wreath or poppy.
14. LAW OF CONTRACT: The contract for the "Polygon Wood and Passchendaele" tour is governed in all aspects by the law in the State of NSW and any legal action arising under the contract shall be litigated only in the appropriate court having jurisdiction in that state.
15. TRAVELLING WITH MEDALS :
For those who wish to display their own or a relative's medals when showing their respects, the airline security situation must be recognised. Due to the pin at the rear of all medal displays, it is no longer possible to carry them as hand luggage and they must be deposited in your main luggage (cargo hold bag). Valuable original medals in your cargo hold bag could be lost. Insurance can cover the cost to replace your clothing, not your great grandfather's original World War 1 or World War 2 medals. It is recommended that you purchase a duplicate set, and put it in your cargo hold bag. Leave your valuable originals at home.