For your private custom made tour our Driver/Guides meet you in London, Amiens, (France - WW1) Arras (France-WW1) or Lille (Belgium - WW1-WW2) Europe Station either with a private *car (*1-4 persons) or mini-coach (*for numbers over 8 persons). From experience, Arras is the perfect centre for us to commence your tour from as our experienced Canadian history guide(s) can meet you here to start your tour and drop you back here or in Amiens or Lille. Arras is within striking distance of all three major battlefields and we know it extremely well. We think the ideal tour for Canadians is a minimum of a day on the Arras & Vimy Battlefields, a day on the Somme and a day in the Ypres area, a total of 3 days & 2 nights in total - or 3 nights and 4 days for a more leisurely experience!
One day tours from London (as well as 2, 3 and 4 day tours) to the Somme, Loos and Arras WW1 battlefields are reachable from London in one day providing the Eurotunnel runs to schedule as we take this from Folkestone to Calais to cross to France and return. Pick up time at a London hotel is around 7am ( approx) and drop off time of approx. 9 - 10pm - depending on traffic, however this is a very long day.
A one day tour to/of Ypres is also possible from London - but involves a very early start (6 am) and late return (1 am) if the essential Menin Gate Memorial service is to be included. This is NOT possible in winter (Nov-April) as it is dark at 3-30-4pm. If Ypres is to be included from any location pickup - especially London - we would strongly suggest an overnight stay in France/Belgium and make it a 2 day overnight tour.
It is not possible to operate either 1 or 2 day tours from London for Canadian WW2 tours in France and Europe. We can HOWEVER arrange 3 day+ plus tours and pickup and drop off from Paris or Amsterdam hotels to cover 'custom made' Normandy and France WW2 Canadian actions - and also the liberation of the Netherlands (Holland) WW2 Canadian battles.
Please email us for further information (and an outline of your requirements.)
Note that costs for these tours are on application as to including any Genealogy research, meals and accommodation and any other client requested inclusions - as these costs are always separate to our direct transport costs.
Points of Canadian Interest: WW1: YPRES
The Menin Gate Memorial: Ypres. Sir Reginald Blomfield's iconic British and Commonwealth memorial which commemorates the 55,000 missing of the Ypres salient of which 7,000 are Canadian Soldiers who fell. The last post is sounded here every night at 8pm. Not to be missed. Never to be forgotten.
Crest Farm: Canadian Memorial. Passchendaele. Stands on the final advance to Passchendaele in October-November 1917 during which the final advance of 800 metres from Crest Farm to Passchendaele church cost 2,238 casualties. One of the Octagonal Canadian Granite memorials placed at significant action spots on the Western Front.
The Brooding Soldier: St Julien Canadian Memorial at Vancouver Corner which commemorates the action of Canadian 1stDivision in April 1915. Set in a beautiful garden which was created with soil & shrubs brought over from Canada. It stands like a sentinel on the battlefields of the 2ndBattle of Ypres, where the Division suffered 6000 casualties. This is where the Canadians gained their reputation as a tough & dependable fighting-force.
The Cloth Hall: A beautiful example of Flemish/European architecture in the Grote Markt Ypres. This incredible building contains the 'In Flanders Fields Museum' A visit to the belfry offers you a view over the city and the surrounding battlefields. Destroyed during the Great War. Now surrounded by many top restaurants, bars & shops where you can buy the world-famous Belgian Chocolate!
Essex Farm British Cemetery: and Dressing Station where John McCrae wrote the most famous poem of the war 'In Flanders Fields.' A truly sacred site for Canadians. Surgeon John McCrae did not live to see the end of the war. He died on January 28, 1918, of pneumonia and is buried in Wimereux Cemetery in France.
The 15th Battalion (48th Highlanders of Canada) monument: Zonnebeke, signifies the first use of poison gas by the Germans and where the Highlanders faced the onslaught on 24 April 1915 losing 664 men killed, wounded or missing.
Passchendaele New British Cemetery: which contains 2,101 burials of which 1,600 of the graves are unknown. All of the 650 Canadians buried here were killed during the Battle of Passchendaele, including Alexander Wuttunee Decoteau, Canada's first Aboriginal-Canadian police officer and Olympic Athlete. A long distance runner.
The 85th (Nova Scotia) Memorial: stands just off the road on the approach to Passchendaele and commemorates the action of 85th during the Battle of Passchendaele October 1917.
Tyne Cot Cemetery: is the largest Commonwealth War Cemetery in the world and within a short walk of the final Objective for Canadian forces at the battle of Passchendaele 1917. This stunning and memorable cemetery is the largest British cemetery in the world with 11,956 Commonwealth war dead, including 1,011 Canadians, most of them killed at Passchendaele. On the cemetery walls are engraved the names of 34,957 soldiers who have no known grave and died after August 15, 1917 because they simple ran out of space on the Menin Gate. Here you can also see the grave of Canadian Victoria Cross recipient, James Peter Robertson, a private in the 27th (City of Winnipeg) Battalion, killed on 6 November 1917.
Memorial Museum Passchendaele 1917-The Memorial Museum: A fascinating museum which stands on the actual battlefield. Deep dugouts and trenches to be explored.
Princess Patricia's Light Infantry Memorial Frezenberg: Refurbished and unveiled in May 2015, includes a new centennial plaque as well as a Canadian Maple tree with the words "Here on 8 May 1915 'the originals' of P.P.C.L.I. commanded by their founder Major A. Hamilton Gault DSO, held firm, counted not the cost".
Hill 62 (Sanctuary Wood) Canadian Memorial: located on the Maple-tree lane leading to it The memorial was erected in honour of the Canadian soldiers killed in the defence of Ypres and at Mt Sorrel in 1916: Hill 62 - Excellent Café here with an original trench museum and a good selection of Belgian beers!
Voormezeele Enclosure No.3 Cemetery: established by Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry, you can visit the grave of one of the first two Canadians killed in action at the Western Front: PPCLI soldier L/Cpl Bellinger, killed on January 8, 1915. The other PPCLI soldier killed on the same date is Cpl Norman Fry, who is commemorated on the Menin Gate in Ypres.
Points of Canadian Interest: WW1: SOMME
Newfoundland Park at Beaumont Hamel: An essential visit for all Canadians and especially for anyone connected with Newfoundland. The area has been maintained and dedicated to the memory of the Newfoundland Regiment, part of the 29th Division, which attacked here on the 1st of July 1916 and suffered appalling losses. After the War, Newfoundland purchased this land in 1921 and it was officially opened in 1925, by Earl Haig. It is preserved in it's original state complete with trenches and shell carters. In 1997 it was designated a Canadian National Historic Site and is run by young Canadian volunteers. One of five Caribou memorials, erected on the Western Front can be seen here.
Regina Trench Canadian Memorial: stands on the Albert-Bapaume road at Courcelette and marke the site of the ferocious fighting of September 1915 when three Canadian Divisions lost 17,000 men in the capture of the village.
Gueudecourt Memorial: is a Dominion of Newfoundland war memorial (Caribou) that commemorates the actions of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment during the Battle of Le Transloy in October 1916.
Adenac Cemetery: is Canada spelt backwards! And is a prominently Canadian cemetery near Courcelette with over 3,000 burials of which almost one half are unidentified.
Regina Trench Cemetery: the land on which this cemetery stands is the scene of fierce fighting by the 4th Canadian Division during the Battle of the Somme and contains over 2,200 graves.
Points of Canadian Interest ARRAS: WW1: (There are many.. Just the important ones here – note Mons is NOT included)
Vimy Ridge Canadian National Memorial: which stands on Hill 145 marks a defining moment for Canada, when the country emerged from under the shadow of Britain and became a new 'Nation.' Canadian troops also earned a reputation as formidable, effective troops because of the stunning success of the capture of the ridge on 9 April 1917. But it was a victory at a terrible cost, with more than 10,000 killed and wounded. It is a must-visit for every Canadian. Excellent visitors centre and Mine Carters, Trenches and subways to be explored.
Monchy-le-Preux: Newfoundland memorial stands on an old block-house in the village and commemorates the gallant action by the Newfoundland Regiment on 14 April 1917.
The Arras-Cambrai Road and the last 100 days. This road is 'The Highway to Hell' and commemorates the great Canadian advance of August-September 1918. Canadian Cemeteries all the way to Cambrai.
Dury Canadian Memorial. Commemorates the breaking of the Drocourt-Quéant Line. Canada's greatest feat of the war.
Seven VC's cross roads: remembers the seven VC's won by the Canadian Coprs on 2 September 1918.
Canal du Nord at Marquion: This area is thick with Canadian memorials and cemeteries. Here we will visit The Crow's Nest and Upton Wood. Captured during the fighting of September 1918.
Dominion Cemetery: This lonely battlefield Cemetery near Cagnicourt with just 220 graves contains the grave of Sergeant Arthur Knight 10thBattalion CEF, one of seven to win the VC on 2 September and subsequently killed on 3 September 1918
Valley CemeteryVis-en-Artois:. Another remote little cemetery worth seeing with just 35 Canadian graves of soldiers of the 3 (Toronto) Battalion, all killed in a hand-to-hand fight for Orix Trench on 31 August 1918. Very brave lads in here including Company Commander Norman Cliffe MC & Bar and Lt. Edwin Slattery DCM & two bars.
Bourlon Wood Canadian Memorial: The last great barrier before Cambrai. This massive wood was captured on 27 September by the Canadian Corps.