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SAMPLE ITINERARY - DENMAN WI

5 DAY TRIP TO YPRES & THE SOMME

Evening before departure
Group gather at Denman for a presentation and Q&A with guide Simon Gregor and WI organisers.

DAY 1
Morning
Early morning departure from Denman with a mid-day ferry crossing from Dover to Calais

Afternoon
Lijssenthoek Cemetery
Discussion points: Causes of the Great War, 1914 battles, ethos of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission; Empire troops, the role of women in the Great War.

Ypres - Menin Gate
Discussion point: rebuilding Ypres.

Check in to central Ypres hotel before attending the Last Post Ceremony

Evening
Dinner in Ypres - Restaurant

DAY 2
Morning
Check out of hotel after breakfast

Essex Farm CWGC and Advanced Dressing Station
Discussion points: Young soldiers – Private Valentine Joe Strudwick; the treatment of casualties, medical advances; John McCrae 'In Flanders’ Fields'

Langemarck Germany Cemetery - German Perspective
Discussion points: German cemetery ethos, Slaughter of the Innocents, Hitler’s 1940 visit, causes of WW2, reconciliation.

Memorial Museum Passchendaele 1917 – an excellent museum with a British bunker system.
Discussion points: The development of trench warfare; use of ground, trench construction, daily routine, technology, problems with trench fighting.

Coffee stop and picnic lunch in the grounds

Afternoon
Vancouver Corner – Gas
Discussion points: Poison gas and its effects, WMD today.

Tyne Cot - Remembrance
Discussion points: 1917 – 3rd Ypres (Passchendaele), 1918 – the end of the war, Remembrance – option of wreath-laying.

Poperinghe – The Firing Post
Discussion points: Military discipline in the Great War; Courts Martial; punishment and executions.

Poperinghe – Talbot House
Thousands of British soldiers passed through Talbot House during the three years it was open from the end of 1915. It was a quiet and unique place behind the British lines where men could spend time relaxing, writing letters and meeting with serving friends, brothers and fathers, in what must have felt like a British “home-from-home”.

Evening
Check into hotel in Arras followed by dinner in a local restaurant

DAY 3
Morning
Serre and Sheffield Memorial Park
Discussion points: The Somme 1916; Kitchener's Army and the Pals Battalions, Recruitment, The Plan, Going over the top 1st July 1916.

Newfoundland Memorial Park
Discussion points: The Newfoundland Regiment on 1st July, Preserved trench system and an opportunity to walk across the battlefield.

Afternoon
Auchonvillers Light lunch and WWI kit and equipment demonstration.

Ulster Tower
Discussion points: The Story of the 36th Ulster Division, background to the Troubles: the story of Billy McFadzean VC. 

Lochnagar Crater
Discussion points: The use of mine warfare in the Great War.

Thiepval Memorial to the Missing
Discussion points: The Somme – a British victory? The impact of the battle, a chance for reflection;

Evening
Return to hotel followed by evening meal at a local restaurant

DAY 4
Morning
Check out of hotel after breakfast with packed lunches

Faubourg D’Amiens
Discussion points: Arras Memorial to the Missing; 2nd Lt W D Tull 23rd Middlesex Regiment; Flying Services Memorial.

Carrière Wellington
Discussion points: Guided tour of the underground tunnels; the underground war.

Afternoon
Vimy Ridge
Discussion point: Trench and mine warfare; battlefield walk to view the Douai plain – the Battle of Arras April 1917 – initial successes.

Notre Dame de Lorette
Discussion point: French National Memorial and the largest French Great War Cemetery.
French cemetery ethos, Basilica of Notre-Dame and ossuaries. Also an opportunity to visit the ‘Ring of Remembrance’, the new international memorial commemorating 579,606 men of all nationalities who fell in Nord-Pas-de-Calais during the Great War which opened on 11th November 2014.

Depart Vimy

Evening
Arrive UK