A sad day as the touring party split and those on the short programme left us and headed to various drop off points in Paris. Many friends were made over these last 5 days as we toured the battlefields of the Somme and shared some very memorable moments.
The remainder of our party headed north towardss Ieper and Bruges where there was a further split, some staying in Bruges and the rest returned to Ieper where over the next couple of days they will travel through the battlefields of the Ieper Salient.
On the way north Ron took his party to the Canadian Memorial at Vimy Ridge, a magnifient structure towering over that Ridge that was captured by the Canadians at such a cost. A fantastic tribute to their courage. While Ron and his party were at Vimy, David and Graham, in the hospitality vehicle, took Robyn Napier and Laurie Pincott Bois to Grenier Cemetery where they paid their respects to Laurie's Grandfather who lies there. It was a very moving experience for Laurie and he said that those moments at the graveside were very very special indeed.
Both parties then met at Fromelles where Ron presented an excellent explanation of the battle, on the ground where it had been fought. He then went through the failures that had led to the gallant yet futile attack and some outcomes affecting those taking part.
All reflected on that waste of life that could have been averted. We moved on to VC Corner to view the names of those who are buried in the two mass graves under the rose garden.
We boarded our coach and headed towards Bruges where our party split yet again. Those staying in Bruges moved into their hotel and the remainder spent a few hours exploring that beautiful medaeval town.
A late arrival into Ieper where we attended the Last Post Service at the Menin Gate prior to a late dinner in our hotel. Another very good day where we covered a lot of ground and a all enjoyed the experience.