At 10.58 hours in the Belgian village of Ville-sur-Haine on November 11, 1918 a single 7.92mm round fired by a German soldier hit Private George Lawrence Price of "A" Company, 28th Battalion, Canadian Expeditionary Force. Price died instantly. Two minutes later at 11.00 hours the First World War ended. With his death Price would become the last soldier of the British Empire to be killed in the war. By then, Canada had lost 66,975 men through enemy action.
Canadian troops and the men of Newfoundland had fought with courage and distinction in World War I winning 71 Victoria Crosses. Our tour pays tribute to their sacrifice and bravery and takes you to the key battlegrounds of war including Ypres and Vimy Ridge. Come with Spirit of Remembrance to France and Belgium and walk over land that through courage and sacrifice has become a part of Canada.
*2019 "Canadians at War - WW1" Tour:
AT A GLANCE:
Tour Code: CA19WW1LIL5
Tour Duration: 4 Nights/5 Days
Tour Operating Dates: Starts: 1 July & 2 September 2019
Guide: SOR approved Battlefield Guide/Historian
Cost P/Person: Share Twin/Double Room: €1298.00
Cost: Single Room Supplement: €660
Cost: Triple Room Cost: On Application
Bonus! Combine with our Canadian WW2 Tour and receive €100.00 (Approx. CAD $150.00) per booking discount off total cost!
Arrive Lille and check into your hotel for your overnight accommodation.
Accommodation: 4* Hotel (Lille)
After breakfast check out and depart hotel for Ypres, Belgium.You will then have free time for optional visits to St. George's Memorial Church, 'In Flanders Fields Museum' or have an opportunity to wander or for shopping in this beautiful medieval town, blasted into oblivion in WW1 and now completely rebuilt to the original plans from the 16/17th century. After lunch (own expense) we will visit the following:
Essex Farm. The Canadian dressing station where in 1915 a Canadian surgeon, John McCrae, wrote the famous poem "In Flanders Fields" and the story of the Poppy was born.
PPCLI Memorial – commemorating a gallant stand by the Patricia's in May 1915.
Vancouver Corner The Brooding Soldier: Where Canadians held the line during the first German poison gas attack in April 1915.
At around 5.00pm you will return to Ypres & check-in to your hotel for your overnight accommodation and an early dinner at a local restaurant.
At 7pm we will take our places at the Menin Gate ready to experience the world famous 'Last Post' Ceremony which takes place at 8 pm.
Accommodation: 3-4* Hotel Ypres
Meals: B, D
After an early breakfast you check out of your hotel and we depart for the Ypres Salient. We will visit:
Mount Sorrel – The 1916 British Front Line south-east of Ypres was situated on this high ground of the Ypres ridge at Zillebeke and the double summits of Hill 61 and Hill 62. Three divisions of the Canadian Corps were involved in the defence of the line here when the German Army made an attack on 2nd June 1916.
Hill 62 (Sanctuary Wood) Canadian Memorial.
3rd Battle of Ypres – July to November 1917
Canadian Memorial Passchendaele
Passchendaele Memorial museum (admission included)
Taking a break there will be a catered packed lunch in the grounds of the museum. This afternoon:
Neuville St. Vaast German War Cemetery. The largest German cemetery in France containing the remains of 44,833 German soldiers from 100 different military units, many of whom fell at Vimy Ridge
Tyne Cot Cemetery – the largest Commonwealth cemetery in the world. Act of Remembrance.
Travel via Passchendaele New Cemetery viewpoint and hear how the Canadian Corps took Passchendaele in Oct/Nov 1917. Synonymous with Vimy - Passchendaele is infamous for the terrible bloody brutal battle of 'mud and blood' where Canadian troops finally won this terrible battle in November 1917, with over 16,000 men killed and wounded and 9 Victoria crosses won.
We now depart to Vimy Ridge and spend a couple of hours visiting the Canadian National Vimy Memorial Park.
The Vimy Tour section will include the following:
The magnificent Vimy Memorial to Canada's Missing
New Vimy Information Centre
A guided tour of Grange Tunnel with a Canadian student guide. (If available)
After leaving Vimy we will then drive to our hotel in Arras. Dinner tonight will be at one of the wonderful local restaurants in Arrasaurant.
Accommodation: 4 star hotel Arras
Meals: B, D
After breakfast in our hotel and collecting a packed lunch we will depart at 8.30AM for the Battle of the
Somme 1916. The Battle of the Somme raged for over four months and resulted in over a million casualties to Allied and German troops. The Canadians, originally in the Ypres sector, missed the first months of the fighting, but had moved to the Somme by early September. On 15 September, in a carefully prepared infantry attack, the Canadians captured the ruined village of Courcelette. Despite thousands of casualties, it was a victory, one of the few for Allied forces on the Somme. Further attacks through September and October were just as costly, but less successful. Operations against Desire Trench and Regina Trench, to the north of Courcelette, were grinding affairs where soldiers attacked and counterattacked repeatedly over the same ground, and always under heavy enemy fire. In late October, the three battered divisions of the Canadian Corps limped off the Somme having suffered 20,000 casualties.
Today we will visit the following: (Including a relaxed picnic lunch in the area)
Beaumont Hamel - Newfoundland Memorial Park. Here, the 1st Newfoundland Regiment, attached to a British division, was cut down on 1 July 1916 by German machine-gun fire as it attacked over open ground. Within 30 minutes the regiment suffered a crippling 324 killed and 386 wounded out of a total of 801 soldiers.
Thiepval memorial and museum
Adanac Military Cemetery, Miraumont. Act of Remembrance.
Mouquet Farm area – 3rd Canadian Division.
The story of Pte John Kerr VC, 49th Battalion.
Courcelette – 2nd Canadian Division. The first use of tanks.
Domart Bridge – A Canadian engineer story.
Hangard Wood & War Cemetery – the story of three VCs
Beaucourt Wood – another VC
Manitoba Cemetery, Caix – burial place of the Hallu 8 who were 8 Manitobans buried with full military honours on 13th May 2015, nearly a century after they were killed.
We then return to our hotel in Arras for tonight and dinner.
Accommodation: 4 star hotel Arras
Meals: B, D
After early breakfast in our hotel we check out at 8am to travel to the Mons area via the Hindenburg Line 1918. After the victory at Amiens, Allied commanders agreed on a multi-army offensive along the Western Front against German forces that, for the first time in the war, appeared vulnerable. The ensuing campaign, known as the Hundred Days (August - November 1918), ended in the defeat of the German forces in the West. After almost a month of planning and preparation, the Canadian Corps attacked across the Canal du Nord in a high-risk operation on 27 September. Behind a complicated fire plan and the work of engineers, the Corps crossed the canal and pushed through the enemy defences, eventually capturing strong points like Bourlon Wood and Cambrai on 9 October. Today we will visit:
Canal du Nord
Bourlon Wood Canadian Memorial
Cantimpre Canadian Cemetery
The German Army Retreats
The Arras and Canal du Nord battles cost over 30,000 Canadian casualties but helped break the German army's final defensive positions. After Canadian and other Allied troops crossed the Canal du Nord, the German forces were in full retreat. The end of the war was near. In the final month of the war, Allied forces pushed ahead on all fronts. The Canadians, having lost more than 40,000 killed and wounded since August, closed on Mons, a city of huge symbolic value. From here, British troops had staged an epic fighting retreat in the early days of the war, delaying the Germans in their advance towards Paris but suffering heavily in the process. Now, the Canadians had a chance to capture Mons on the last day of the war... which is exactly what they did.
At approximately 1pm we will have lunch in Grand Place Mons (own expense). This is where the Canadian Corps Commander, Lt Gen Sir Arthur Currie, took the salute on 11th November 1918.
After lunch we will visit:
St Symphorien Cemetery – Buried here is the last Canadian soldier to die in combat in the First World War. He was Private George Price of the 28th Battalion, killed by a German sniper northeast of Mons only a few minutes before the Armistice. The war ended at 11 AM on 11 November 1918.
The Last Shot memorial
We will leave here at approximately 5.30-6pm to drive to Lille where our tour finishes at Lille Europe station.
(** Note: We reserve the right to change the order and areas we visit on this tour and any other operational constraints we may have to incorporate into the present itinerary due to unusual or unforseen circumstances, however it is our intention to operate the tour based upon this itinerary or an itinerary very similar.)
Tour Price Includes:
All meals as specified in the itinerary
Services of an expert WW1 Battlefield Guide/Historian throughout the tour.
Luxury air conditioned/heated coach travel with onboard toilets and *Wifi (*where available)
All museum entrance fees, excursions and sightseeing as detailed in the itinerary
All accommodation as specified
High quality full colour comprehensive souvenir book(s)
High quality souvenir clothing (Depends on seasonality) Thinsulate Beanie or T-Shirt/cap and polo shirt)
Luggage tags and quality Spirit of Remembrance backpack
Tour Price does NOT Include:
International Airfares from Canada
Meals/Refreshments other than stated on the itinerary
Travel / Cancellation / Medical Insurance
Passport & related fees
Any optional excursion not specifically stated
Items of a personal nature