Thursday, 23 April 2015
25. Visiting Battlefields of the Great War
Mum and I really enjoyed our tour of the French and Belgium battlefields last weekend. Driven around by Galloway Travel, we were lucky enough to have the fabulous Mike Peters as a guide to explain what happened, when, how and more importantly why!
Staying in Ypres, the 4 day tour took us to many sites. My favourite spot was Delville Wood, where thousands of South Africans died trying to get the wood from the Germans. The South African Centre is very impressive and a contrast to the surrounding beautiful bluebell woods.
Other highlights of the tour were the spot where the first gas attack took place 100 years ago, the huge Tyne Cott Cemetery, the first place where tanks rolled into battle, going deep into the mines under Arras and the stunning memorial at Vimy Ridge
We also visited many graves and memorials and heard stories of brave men winning Victoria Crosses, the only female killed in battle, footballers and fighting aces - and even the last resting place of Chief Sitting Bulls grandson - Standing Buffalo. Mike was really a mine of interesting facts with an encyclopedic knowledge of World War One and the Battle of the Somme.
I would highly recommend anyone to go on a similar tour by Galloway Travel - the accommodation, food and attention to detail could not be faulted!