We have two groups who will be attending the Dedication of the new Pheasant Wood Cemetery at Fromelles, one group of two coaches will be lead by Lieutenant Colonel Ron Lyons with Matt Walsh sharing the historian responsibility and Squadron Leader Alan Lyons and Warrant Officer Class 1 Warren Barnes driving the support vehicle and addressing all the special visits. We at Military History Tours always have a hospitality/support vehicle with us so that we can always endeavour to take people to those far out sites and cemeteries that mean so much to family members on our tour.
In this group we have two flag bearers who will be representing the RSL at the Dedication and 24 who have given DNA for body assessment and many will have a person in the new graves, recognised after being lost for so many years.
It is going to be very moving indeed for all on our coaches. This group is gathering in Paris and will move up to the Somme on the 17th July. The other group is the Belmont Christian College and I will be leading that tour.
The Belmont Christian College group arrived in Paris from Turkey where they had a wonderful time and were able to really look at the history. It has been a couple of busy late days and after arriving in their Paris hotel at 23:30, all went to bed and tried to prepare for the big day today.
However, all good plans can turn into disaster, this was the day of disaster. Paris had a very heavy rainstorm today and our group were caught right in the middle. All were drenched, upon walking to the Eiffel Tower, some distance, they found it closed due to the storm. Back to the Louvre to find that as it was Bastille Day and all things were free, there were too many in the Louvre and therefore they could not gain entry. Monmartre, too wet and out of time....what a day!!
But all still have the Paris excitement and left the hotel to have dinner and will head down to a vantage point on the banks of the Seine to watch the fireworks. They will stagger home at around 1030PM and then in the morning will board our coach for the Somme.
Colonel Graham Fleeton