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Military History Tours          Anzac Day at Beersheba and at Mt Scopus - 22 April to 4 May 2019

Anzac Day at Beersheba and Mt Scopus 2019

The Australian Soldier MemorialJoin Military History Tours (MHT) as we follow the actions of the Australian Light Horse to the North of the Suez Canal now mostly Israel. Note that our tour will take place within the boundaries of the modern state of Israel. We will be able to follow the work of Australia’s elite mobile troops including the victorious charge at Beersheba as the Light Horse wrote their names in the desert, ensuring the lifeline of the Suez Canal was able to remain open delivering the troops and supplies essential for the war effort in Europe and the defeat of a key German ally.

In March 1916, the ANZAC Mounted Division was formed in Egypt from the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Light Horse Brigades and the New Zealand Mounted Rifles Brigade. It was commanded by Major General Harry Chauvel. In August, the Division helped defeat the Turkish Advance to Romani and, by March 1917, had forced the enemy back to the line Gaza-Beersheba. The strategic town of Beersheba was captured on 31 October 1917 by the Light Horse in a helter skelter great cavalry charge, with the Light horsemen armed only with rifles slung and bayonets.

This is a tour developed for the very special purpose that we hope will, in a small way, ensure that this part of Australia’s history is not forgotten as we visit the battle sites, each with an informative briefing, meet the local dignitaries who maintain our military heritage, and pay our respects at the resting places of our fallen. To our knowledge, no Dawn Service of any significance has been conducted in Israel to honour, not just the 512 officers and 5313 soldiers who lost their lives during the campaign, but all those from Australia and New Zealand who fought WW1 in this theatre. A Dawn Service at Beer’Sheva, then to Mt Scopus, Jerusalem.

We will also see the marvel that is modern Israel along with the deep ancient history of the land.

Tour Price (13 days, 12 nights): Share twin price, AUD 5,995.00 single supplement AUD 1,750.00. Passover in Israel is 19-27 April. Accommodation in this period is reflected in our than usual tour prices. (Price may vary due to volatility of the Australian Dollar on the international currency market.)

Highlights:

• Town of Beersheba
• Tel Aviv, Bethlehem, Tiberias, Jerusalem
• Presentations at the Battle sites
• Haifa War Cemetery
• Old Jerusalem City, Church of St Joseph.
• Visit the slopes of Mount Carmel
• Walk through the old city of Nazareth.
• The Dead Sea, River Jordan
• Sea of Galilee (Lake Kinneret)
• Golan Heights
• The Citadel of Masada
• Ancient Roman ruins at Biet Shean and Biet Alfa
• The Tomb of Samuel and much more

Included in the tour price:

  • Transport by air conditioned coach
  • Israeli guide and Australian military historian
  • Entrance fees to the museums and sites mentioned in the itinerary
  • Accommodation
  • Most Meals as per programme below

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

Day 1 - Monday 22 April 2019; Tel Aviv

You need to arrive at Ben Gurion International Airport, Tel Aviv, not later than today. Dinner will be in our hotel, the Leonardo City Tower hotel, followed by a briefing on the course of the war in then Palestine now Israel 1916 – 1918. Overnight Tel Aviv (D)  (Transfer to the hotel is not included. A taxi takes 17 minutes and costs about USD 40.00) 

Day 2 - Tuesday 23 April 2019; Tel Aviv - Beer'Sheva

Breakfast in our hotel before departing for Beer’Sheva. On the way, we will visit Navitim where we will pick up and follow the route used by the Desert Mounted Corps as they outflanked the Turkish Gaza – Beer;Sheva line and headed for the town. We will also visit and ascend Tel Beer’Sheva where we will be able to see the land the 4th Australian Light Horse Brigade charged over. Time permitting, we will also visit Tel El Saba and Tel El Kwelfie. Dinner at our hotel. (BLD)

Day 3 - Wednesday 24 April 2019; Beer'Sheva

After Breakfast, we will cover any places missed yesterday and then visit the CWG cemetery in Beer'Sheva. We will also allow some time to visit the Park of the Australian Soldier, built by the Pratt Foundation and opened in 2008. We will conduct a Service at the memorial in the Park. Lunch will be in one of the many fine restaurants in the town. An early dinner at our hotel to allow for an early night. (BLD)

Day 4 - Thursday 25 April 2019; Beer'Sheva - Jerusalem

Reveille will sound at 3.30 am for a hot coffee/Tea in the hotel lobby. We will depart for our Dawn Service at 4.30 am and be seated for the Dawn Service in the CWGC, Beer’Sheva. Following the Service and wreath laying, we will travel to Mt Scopus, Jerusalem. Our second ANZAC Day Service will be held at the CWGC at 10.00am and hosted by the Australian Embassy. After our hotel check in, the rest of the day free to relax. An early dinner at our hotel. (BrD)

Day 5 - Friday 26 April 2019; Jerusalem

After breakfast, a free day for you to relax and explore the old city of Jerusalem. Our hotel is near the entrance to the old city and you will have the chance to try one of the many restaurants in the area for lunch. Dinner will be at your hotel. (BD)

Day 6 - Saturday 27 April 2019; Jerusalem

After breakfast this morning, a morning tour to visit the Mount of Olives, and the New City sights. We will then travel to Bethleham for lunch and a visit to this historic and religious town. The remainder of the day will be at leisure or an opportunity to again visit the old city. Dinner at your hotel. (BLD)

Day 7 - Sunday 28 April 2019; Jerusalem

After breakfast we will drive to Masada where the adventurous can take the cable car to the summit. (OPTIONAL) Masada is steeped in history and you should read up on this place before your visit. We then will proceed to a hotel on the Dead Sea. Lunch will be here, and a swim/float on this sea of salt is a one-time experience. A costume is essential and showers will be available for those who enter the water. Dinner back at our Jerusalem hotel. (BLD)

Day 8 - Monday 29 April 2019; Jerusalem - Tiberias

After breakfast we will travel North along route 90 following the Jordan Valley to Tiberias. On the way we will visit the ancient ruins of Biet Alfa and Biet Shean, dating from the time when Rome ruled the world. We will lunch on route and your historians will cover some interesting battles that took place over the Jordan river. Dinner tonight in our Tiberias hotel. (BLD)

Day 9 - Tuesday 30 April 2019; Tiberias

After breakfast, we will travel to the old Tzemach railway station, 1.5 kilometres east of the river Jordan outflow.The Battle of Tzemach saw fourteen members of 11 LH killed during a gallant moonlit charge that overwhelmed Turkish and German machine gun and artillery positions just before dawn on 25 September 1918. 98 Turkish and German soldiers died in the battle. The attack was the last cavalry-style charge by Australian troops during WWI and the only one during which the Light Horse used drawn swords. We will visit the site and discuss the action in detail, taking the opportunity to visit the Memorial Plaque at the restored railway station building that is now part of Kinneret College. We will lunch by Lake Kinneret, before leaving the shores of the Lake to drive up to the Golan Heights where the route used by the Desert Mounted Corps to pursue the Turkish forces to their surrender in Damascus can be viewed from those heights. The heights will also give us the opportunity to discuss the Trans Jordan (Amman and Es Salt raids) that occurred in January to May 1918 but proved so disastrous for the Australians. Dinner will be in our hotel. Overnight Tiberias. (B Box L D)

Day 10 - Wednesday 1 May 2019; Tiberias

After breakfast, we visit a number of historical sites including Nazareth, the church of the Annunciation, then next door to the Church of St Joseph, built on the ruins of agricultural buildings where, according to tradition, Joseph, Mary’s husband, had his carpentry shop. We then move to a suitable site to outline the Meggido Offensive, another Light Horse success. (BLD) This evening we plan to have dinner on the Sea of Galiee, on board a cruise boat.

Day 11 - Thursday 2 May 2019; Tiberias - Tel Aviv

We head to Haifa after breakfast. Here we will visit the Haifa War cemetery. Haifa was the site of a casualty clearing station. There are 225 graves including many Australians. We will also visit Mt Carmel and will hear from our historians how Haifa was finally captured on 23 September, 1918. We will lunch at a local restaurant before heading to our hotel in Tel Aviv. (BLD)

Day 12 - Friday, 3 May 2019; Tel Aviv

Following breakfast, we travel to Latrun to visit the National Park and Museum, the Yad La Shiryon tank museum is one of the finest in the world. We also will visit the tomb of Samuel before returning to our hotel for our final dinner together. (BLD)

Day 13 - Saturday 4 May 2019; Tel Aviv

After breakfast our tour programme ends. (B)

NOTE:

The first 6 days of our tour coincide with Passover. (19 – 27 April 2019) This is a deeply religious period for the Israelis. As a result, many hotels are in high demand and we need to secure our accommodation as soon as possible. If you decide to join our tour, book as soon as possible as tour numbers will be limited to the accommodation that we hold currently and obtaining more, once we fill our allocation, will be difficult.

Please Note: Due to matters outside our control, there may be times when we will change from our proposed itinerary. It is our intention to conduct a briefing each evening to set in place the following day’s visitation programme.

Itinerary adjusted 18 May 2018

 Booking Terms and Conditions (Beersheba ANZAC Day, 2019)

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 & CANCELLATIONS: Final payment will be required NLT Friday 1 November, 2018. Any cancellations prior to this date will be entitled to a full refund. After 1 November, 2018, 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 pre-apply for a visa to visit Israel. Your passport must have 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 3 - 4 star standard.

8. CHILDREN & 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 under 12, 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 under the special requirements heading. Feel free to call to discuss. Whilst we plan on dinners in our hotel, sometimes circumstances require us to use a local restaurant.

10. INSURANCE: It is not acceptable for MHT to accept people on its tours who are not holding appropriate travel insurance.

11. INCLUSIONS & EXCLUSIONS: A list of the inclusions and exclusions is included on the tour flyer 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 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 "Beersheba ANZAC Day 2019 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. Please wear your medals at the Services held during this tour.

 
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