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Military History Tours          Villers-Bretonneux (France) 20 April to 2 May 2018

Villers-Bretonneux (France)
April and May 2018

In WW1, after the 8 months campaign at Gallipoli, Australian Troops entered the trenches of France and Belgium. Three years later over 52,000 were dead. In 1918, on 24/25 April, Australian Troops recaptured the Village of Villers-Bretonneux, and forced a German withdrawal. The significance of this battle was not lost on our Allies. The troops who retook Villers, were part of the 5 Australian Divisions urgently brought by rail from Belgium to prevent a German breakthrough. The German Armies had been reinforced by troops from the Russian Front. Russia had withdrawn from the war.

The German High Command had determined that if they could capture Amiens, the major city in The Somme, then drive to the coast, they would split the Allied Forces. They saw this as an opportunity to finish the war in their favour. Australian and British troops halted the German advance, and on 24/25 April, 1918, Australian troops recaptured Villers-Bretonneux and forced a German withdrawal.

It is significant that in spite of the fierce fighting that Australians faced at places such as Pozieres, Bullecourt, Mont St Quentin, Le Hamel and countless other sites, the major Australian Memorial is at Villers-Bretonneux. The size and solitude of the Memorial is overwhelming. Etched into the walls below the 32m high tower which dominates the area around for a great distance, are the names of over 11,000 Australian soldiers who have no known grave in France.

On 25 April 2018, it is the Centenary of the Battle of Amiens, as it is known to the locals in The Somme. There are museums in Villers-Bretonneux, Bullecourt and Peronne that are dedicated to the diggers of WW1. The Victoria School in Villers-Bretonneux carries the sign in English "Do Not Forget Australia".

Price: Tour 1 from $2995.00 (6 days/ 5 nights) per person twin share, single supplement $550.00 or Tour 2 from $4995.00 (13 days/12 nights) per person twin share, single supplement $1300.00.

Included in the tour price:

  • Australian military historian
  • Transport by air conditioned coach
  • Hospitality vehicles for special cemetery visits
  • museum entries
  • Accommodation
  • Most Meals as per programme below
  • Tour 2 includes ½ day sightseeing in Paris and ferry to Dover.

Not included in tour price:

  • Alcohol
  • Laundry, dry cleaning phone calls
  • Insurance (see Booking Terms and Conditions)
  • Other items of a personal nature
  • Air travel to/from Australia
  • Airport transfers

 Itinerary

20 April 2018 - PARIS (Tour 2 only):

This is the day when Tour 2 guests gather at our Paris hotel and are met by their historians. The remainder of the day and evening is free to relax and meet other guests.

21 April 2018 – PARIS (Tour 2 only):

After breakfast at the hotel, coaches will depart for a half day city sightseeing, including but not limited to Champs Elysee, Opera, Arc de Triomphe and Notre Dame. Guests may leave the coach at any time and use the rest of the day to explore this beautiful city. The evening is free to enjoy. B

22 April 2018 – THE SOMME (Tours 1 and 2):

Our tour departs for the Somme from our Paris hotel, at 1000. Tour 1 guests are to be at the hotel by 0930 or, if arriving into CDG airport that morning, they will be met at the airport. After settling into our hotel in the Somme we will visit Peronne and the Historial Museum followed by a welcoming dinner in Peronne. B/D

23 April 2018 – THE SOMME (Tours 1 and 2):

After breakfast your coach will depart for the first of three days touring the Somme battlefields. Your Military Historian travelling with you will brief you during the day on events and the significance of the places you visit.

During the touring days you will visit many of the battle sites, memorials and cemeteries of the Somme and today we intend to visit Bullecourt, Beaumont Hamel, Pozieres, Thiepval, Dernancourt and the Lochnagar Crater. B/L/D

24 April 2018 – THE SOMME (Tours 1 and 2):

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. Tonight you are granted leave. A free night in Amiens to view the Cathedrale Notre Dame ( larger than Notre Dame in Paris ), a private inspection has been arranged, then find your own special French restaurant on the river running through town, and for the ladies especially, shop!

Coach transport will be provided in and out of Amiens. B/L

25 April 2018 – THE SOMME (Tours 1 and 2):

ANZAC Day, on the 100th Anniversary of the Australian attack on Villers-Bretonneux.. An early wake up call then coffee and tea in your hotel lobby before we board for the Dawn Service. On arrival you will be ushered into the area at the base of the Memorial for the traditional Dawn Service. At the completion of the Service there will be time at the Memorial to inspect the area before our coach arrives to take us into Villers-Bretonneux.

In Villers-Bretonneux there will be conducted an ANZAC Day March to the town square, approximately 300 metres. Following the March we will have something special planned for our ANZAC Day breakfast. Following breakfast we return to our hotels and the afternoon is free to relax unless there is an opportunity to attend any other Government Service that is planned. Dinner is in your hotel. B/L/D

26 April 2018 –THE SOMME (Tours 1 and 2):

After breakfast you will set off again for your 3rd day of touring the Somme with your lunch box in hand. Again, based on requirements, your Military Historian on board will aim to get you to places you need to visit. Our hospitality vehicles 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.

The evening dinner is at your hotel. B/L/D

27 April 2018 – PARIS or IEPER (Tours 1 and 2):

Our tour splits, some to Paris and the rest to Ieper. We say farewell to the Tour 1 people as they head back to Paris. The coach will have (2) drop points and these will be notified to you closer to the time of the tour. As our tour 2 group moves north we will visit Vimy Ridge, Fromelles, Ploegsteert Wood and Messines before settling into our Ieper hotel. B/L/D

28 April 2018– IEPER (Tour 2 only): After breakfast we have a change of pace today. 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 return to Ieper mid afternoon which will allow further time to explore Ieper. Tonight we will attend the last post ceremony at the Menin Gate. B/D

29 April 2018 - IEPER (Tour 2 only): Our last day on the battlefields will take us to those famous battles of the Ieper Salient such as Hill 60, Polygon Wood, Passchendaele and finally a visit to Tyne Cot Cemetery. B/L/D

30 April 2018 – LONDON (Tour 2 only): After breakfast we depart our hotel by bus for Calais and the ferry to Dover. From Dover, we move by bus to our hotel in London. After settling in, you are free to explore London at your leisure. B

1 May 2018 – LONDON (Tour 2 only): Breakfast at your hotel. Today is a free day to take in the sights of London. Evening is yours to enjoy. B

2 May 2018 – LONDON (Tour 2 only): Today, after breakfast, your tour ends. B

 Booking Terms and Conditions

1. GENERAL: This tour has been prepared by Military History Tours (Australia) (MHT).

2. Military History Tours (Australia) (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 November 2017. Any cancellations prior to this date will be entitled to a full refund. After 30 November 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 "Our Other ANZAC Day" 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.

 
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PO Box 294, GOULBURN NSW 2580, AUSTRALIA
Telephone: 1300 364 671 or +61 (0)2 9387 5025, Fax: +61 (0)2 4733 3951