Please note that the dates for these tours may vary from the guide below. No tours will be offered until international borders are open.
Our last day on the Battlefields of Flanders. Today we started by heading down to Messines where Ron took us through the actions of 7th June 1917 when 19 of the 21 mines were exploded under the German lines heralding the start of the attack. This was a very successful attack and all objectives were achieved. However, there was still a high cost as was at every attack on the Western Front.
The presentation was given at the Irish Peace Park which is in the position that looks over the area of the advance.
Our support vehicle then left with 2 couples who had cemeteries to visit that were outside the time available for our coaches. Our first visit was to Wijtschate Cemetery where Pat and Dennis Zalanardo visited a grave of a fellow on behalf of his family. We then headed to Bedford House Cemetery where we visited the grave of Graham Jones's uncle Edgar William Powell. . .
Graham's Mother never talked about the brother that she had lost and it was only last year following Graham and Marian's decision to tour with us that he found the details concerning his Uncle Edgar.
This was the first time that any member had visited the grave of Edgar, a very moving moment indeed.
We joined the coaches at Hill 60 so that our group could re-join the tour and hear John Hitchen take them through the actions in the tunnels of Hill 60.
Lyn Chalker and Susan Newbold, sisters, were then taken to an vantage point so that they could see the ground where their relative had served as part of the 1st Division and maybe Pioneer Battalion working there on the Menin Road near Hellfire Corner.
Lunch was taken at Polygon Wood before we visited the action at Passchendaele as we stood in the reception area at the Tyn Cott Cemetery.
A very full day and tomorrow our tour splits to London and Paris or home.