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Battlefield tour companies: disability provision


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My first question is where i want to be in the footsteps of my Great Uncle Edward Baxter

Ballard died May 10, 1915 Ieper, West-Vlaanderen, , Belgium And is recorded on Mellin Gate Think he died in 2nd Battle of Ypres -- But the bigger problem is My wife is disabled and uses a wheelchair to get around i am her carer so how easy is it for Disabled to see the sight ??

Have emailed a couple of companies today to see what they say

But was wondering if you or someone you know have been on a tour Disabled ???


Rank: Private Service No: 1816 Date of Death: 10/05/1915 Regiment/Service: Gloucestershire Regiment 2nd Bn. Panel Reference: Panel 22 and 34. Memorial: YPRES (MENIN GATE) MEMORIAL

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As well as the larger companies, it may be worth you contacting the small outfits based in Ieper or, even, look to see if you can hire a personal guide. The latter, of course, would be able to tailor a tour specifically for you.

In general, I suppose the issue is where do you and your wife wish to visit. Some of the places - like the Menin Gate are in town and the surroundings are paved. On the other hand, the cemeteries are mainly laid to grass which may be tricky with a wheelchair, particularly if it's been raining and the ground is soft.

I have it in mind there was an extensive thread some years back. Perhaps your skill with the search facility may be better than mine but I'm struggling to find it.

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Thank you John Its a thought at the moment needs planning Thanks

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Maybe worth thinking about getting the train over to Belguim then a local train into Ypres, base yourself there and get one of the local tour guides.

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The way to go about it is to research both your family backgrounds.

As the first truly World War which involved those at home as well as the men fighting, there are probably grandparents involved to some degree.

i suspect you already have done some research to pinpoint Ypres for your great uncle, but you may find more family relations too.

Presumably one of you is Bridget, whose Family Tree includes Albert Prince Ballard.

His CWGC entry seems to have an incorrect initial

BALLARD, EDWARD B. Rank :Private. Service No: 1816. Date of Death: 10/05/1915.
Regiment/Service: Gloucestershire Regiment 2nd Bn.
Panel Reference: Panel 22 and 34. Memorial:YPRES (MENIN GATE) MEMORIAL
Name: Edward Baxter Ballard. Birth Place: St. Nicholas, Gloucester. Death Date: 10 May 1915
Death Place: France and Flanders. Enlistment Place: Gloucester.
Rank: Private. Regiment: Gloucestershire Regiment. Battalion: 2nd Battalion. Regimental Number: 816
Type of Casualty: Killed in action. Theatre of War: Western European Theatre
I wonder if you have confused the family names?
There is a Harry PRINCE Ballard and an Edward BAXTER Ballard in the same family in 1911 Census.....
I hope you have researched the family history as it seems a bit contorted....
In 1911 there is a family headed by Charles James Jones, wife Elizabeth Jane Jones, with the following children....
Frederick George Ballard, 21; Florence Jane Ballard, 19; Harry Prince Ballard, 18; Edward Baxter Ballard, 16; Emily Mary Jones, 12; Stanley Jones, 7; Phyllis Jones, 3; Ethel Jones, 3 months.
Charles and Elizabeth had been married for 14 years in 1911, so Elizabeth BALLARD had been widowed after the birth of 16 year old Edward Baxter Ballard and had remarried Charles Jones. Elizabeth had had 10 children, 6 still alive in 1911, yet there are 8 children named.....
Name: Edward Baxter Ballard. Registration Year: 1890. Registration Quarter: Apr-May-Jun
Registration district: Kensington, London. Volume: 1a. Page: 143
The Battalion suffered almost 40 casualties that day, and most have an unknown grave or their burial site has been lost during the subsequent fighting, but the War Diary may give you more information. They may have been in the Sanctuary Wood sector.
Once you fix on which family members you may have as casualties, then is the time to plan how to visit.
Obviously I'd suggest the Menin Gate ceremony as long as it's not too much of a circus.
The 10 May next year might be a suitable time, the 100th anniversary of his death, and the weather may be turning favourable....?
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I currently walk with a stick (still waiting for a new knee) and have found on recent tours that getting on and off tour buses to be a real pain - literally and figuratively - as with the seating on many modern coaches being above the luggage compartment there are some steep steps to negotiate - I would think that on the coaches I have been on recently it would be impossible for a wheelchair user. All three architects responsible for the major British cemeteries and memorials had a penchant for sweeping flights of stairs (which can be a real b****r to get up and down if you're a bit lame and again impossible in an ordinary wheelchair) and no concept of accessibility (which is sort of odd since there must have been plenty of the halt amongst the veterans who might have wished to visit their fallen comrades). Another issue to think about is that most (possibly all) tour operators insist on you having insurance and the companies offering such cover may be a bit sniffy over disabilities (insurance companies seem only want to cover you these days if there is absolutely no chance whatsoever of you ever claiming on it - rather like Sid Devious the insurance agent in the Monty Python sketch)

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Maybe worth thinking about getting the train over to Belguim then a local train into Ypres, base yourself there and get one of the local tour guides.

seems interesting any details on how to go about this hotel etc ?

I know it may seem easy to most folk but when you take a wheelchair things get more difficult and when your on a budget too don't help maybe i will win the lotto !!

Ps The family History is correct :mellow: the Name is followed down a few time in family The London one is not the same one but is related yep confusing but right

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Hi i have been in Ypres three times, and i have been in a wheelchair or mobile scooter at home for 6 years. The first two times were on coaches and the last was on the train. I can say my husband hardly had to do a thing i was taken on and off trains in my Wheelchair, my case was taken from my husband and carried on and off the trains for us. When you go independent you decide what you want to see and how long you wish to spend there.My two visits by coach meant i was left sitting on the coach for the trips and i saw very little apart from what i could see from the coach.The cost of the train might very well be a problem but any good travel agent will sort the train travel, and a hotel for you.

Mary.

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The family History is correct :mellow: the Name is followed down a few time in family The London one is not the same one but is related yep confusing but right

Too right - it is confusing if you say you are looking for an Edward PRINCE Ballard died 10 May 1915 when the records show that he is recorded as Edward BAXTER Ballard...

Another son was Harry PRINCE Ballard......

it would appear that CWGC, Soldiers Died and his Medal Index card all showing the initial B are incorrect.

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yep

post-2316-0-98117300-1407173301_thumb.jp

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Officer in charge of Records in Warwick forwards application for clasp to 1914 Star on behalf of Mrs E J Jones in respect of services of her late son, Private E B Ballard - dated 25/11/1919


This is to have the entitlement not only to the 1914 (Mons) Star but also the small "rose" emblem to mount on the medal ribbon of the service jacket, and the clasp (a small metal strip with the date "1914" impressed in it which is worn on the ribbon above the suspension bar when the medal itself is being worn.


The need for this was so that the man was recognised as eligible to join the Old Contemptibles association reserved exclusively for soldiers who were in sound of the enemy's guns in the first days of the War. He entered Theatre on 11th November 1914 (a poignant date in the future) and the requested clasp was issued on 24th February 1920.


It notes that Edward was Killed in Action on 10th May 1915 and also shows the references to the Medal Rolls for the issuance of his 1914 Star and also the British War and Victory medals.

post-2316-0-06413400-1407173909_thumb.jp

post-2316-0-65395800-1407173911.txt

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So why ask

My first question is where i want to be in the footsteps of my Great Uncle Edward Prince Ballard died May 10, 1915 Ieper, West-Vlaanderen,

when it's clear he was Edward BAXTER Ballard - it was his brother who was Harry PRINCE Ballard.....

Don't worry, you just go and talk to Elvis.

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What i was asking is the area i need to be in not the family history i know all that sorry if you thought otherwise !

PLUS i just realised what i did with name sorry mistake there sorry again .......

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