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Remembered Today:

Somme Tour


KIRKY
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Hi, just returned from visit to Somme, looks great as always, stayed at Dinnaken house flers, a great base, warm and comfortable, while at tommies Bard we were told that 35 or 6 British soldiers had been found by Casualty Corner and 4 French south of Fricourt, anyone know about these?

also went on tour of Thiepval wood, Teddy is a great guide and it was very worthwhile even though we have been visiting the area for 12 years we still learnt a lot from him.

Tony

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Tony - don't suppose you happen to recall the times of Teddy's tours?

Thanks

Alan

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Hi Tony, Making my visit to the Somme next month, can you give me any pointers

I have already a list of places from the pals. Peter

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I think Teddy does his tours at 11am and 3pm. It's worth calling in and asking though. A good excuse for a hot drink and a chat.

Ken

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Hi Tony, Making my visit to the Somme next month, can you give me any pointers

I have already a list of places from the pals. Peter

Peter,

What dates are you there?

If it's your first trip, make sure you read as much as you can before you go. Try not to cram too much in too your visit. I would make a list of places you want to see and put them in a priority order. That way you can spend as much time as you need at each place and know that you won't end up missing a 'must see' location. The weather can make a big difference to how long you spend at each location.

Arm yourself with maps, too if you can.

Whatever happens, you'll be back!

Have a good trip,

Ken

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Peter, as per Ken , you will be back! I have been going 2 to 3 times a year fro 12 years and just scratching the surface!!

I can confirm times of Ulster Tower trench tour, a must! Also make sure you see Albert Museum, Thiepval, Mansell copse, High Wood, Delville Wood, Mametz, German Cemetery at Fricourt, Serre and for a pretty Somme village visit Suzane and go to the viewing platform to the East of here where you get a wonderful view of the somme river!

how long have you got!!

Tony

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Thanks for the times, Ken and Tony, I had a recollection that they were at 11 and 3 but wasn't sure. Will certainly be popping in for the cup of tea regardless though...

Peter - very good advice from Ken - is there a specific division you are interested in? If the 36th, then I'm sure you'll be want to go Thiepval Woods and the Ulster Tower. If the 16th, then Guillemont and Ginchy. If you need to get hold of book or maps when you're there, then the Thiepval Visitor Centre is probably your best bet, although books will cost a little more than they would here.

Alan

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ken, Tony, Alan. Thanks for the advice and the names of place's. When it comes to

this I am a complete virgin. I will be on a planed trip 14th-17th of April, the itinerary includes

full day visits to the Somme and Flanders Battle fields including Essex Farm, Langemarch Cemetery,

Passchendale Memorial, Tyne Cot Cemetery, Hooge Crater, Hill 60, Hill 62, Messines Peace Park,

Hyde Park Corner Memorial, Pozieres Beaumont Hamel, Thiepval Memorial, Ulster Tower,

Lochnager Crater and Ypres and the Menin Gate Memorial.

I know that this is most likely all the most visited sites and most touristy, but for me it is some where to start

and then I will start planning my own trips, some where to cut my teeth.

So I will be based in Ypres for the three nights, what pubs to you recommend for the after battles discussions ?? Peter

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Tony,

Did you find the location of the Aux Caves while you was there, I know you said you was going to have a look around the area.

Glad you had a good visit...............Was our Pizza still in the freezer we left you in Dinnaken last year?. :D

Ian.

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Hi had a good look around the area but no signs of Caves but could see where dugouts could have been.

No trace of your Pizza, probably on Ebay as a Somme relic "found in a barn"

Had some good walks around Bulls Road a new area for us.

Rorys house was great as usual.

Left a 1/4 bottle of Port for next visitor, is there a pattern developing?

Tony

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How I envy your first ever trip...so much to explore!

Simplistically, you could think of splitting it in two and looking at the whole area chronologically. Thus Ypres for 1914-15, Somme 1916 and 1918, and Ypres for 1917. A good starting point, and to understand the great importance of the semi-circle of high ground to the north, east and south, would be to start with a trip out to the Yser Tower at Dixmude. There is an exhibition on the bottom four floors, and then get the lift up to the viewing gallery at the top. The view is stunning and you can see the hills. Whilst in Dix, go across the main road and stop off at the Trenches of Death. They run for some distance, and were Belgian.

From there, Hooge Crater cemetery, and the museum opposite are a good starting point (and the first use of flame-throwers) over to Langemarck (German student battn., as evidence of how the war was fought in 1914), the FiveWays, to stand on the eventual front line and look back to Langemarck Church to see the ground lost in the first gas attack. On yourway over to Essex Farm, stop off the other side of the canal at Yorkshire Trench, then round to the farm and the dugouts. If you take your time, stopping off for a bite to eat on the way, and lingering wherever fancy takes you, that is more than enough for one day!

At the end of that, go to the 8 o'clock ceremony under the Menin Gate. You can check on the website who is wreath=laying that evening. You will need a drink of two afterwards. If you smoke, then the Walker is not subject to the ban, whereas places selling food or over a certain square footage are. There are numerous imbibing spots around the Square, but if the weather is fine, then sitting outside the Old Tom and watching the world go past is enjoyable.

Don't forget to have a good look at the Gate in daylight, including up the stairs either side. A second day could be spent on 1917. I take pupils to Dochy Farm, to stand on the October trenches and look up the hill to Tyne Cot. Over 20,000 casualties getting there. From Tyne Cot, you can look back as well. Allow a good hour at Tyne Cot. Since you aren't far away, you could pop into Varlet Farm and enjoy the company of the wonderful Charlotte (a fellow Forum member, but phone her first). The museum at Zillebeck is a good one too, but if you go to the cafe opposite, don't speak French - it is the local HQ of the Flemish independence movement!

Down on the Somme, you have listed most of the sites - Sheffield Memorial Park, Newfoundland Memorial Park, Thiepval, Mansel Copse, Memetz, Lochnagar Crater, Devonshire Trench, but stop off at Avril's in Auchonvillers for a cuppa (and the loo).

There are many, many other places to visit - Bayernwald, Bedford house, etc. - but if you want a slightly different day, try Poperinghe. You can park in the square and visit the cells under the Town Hall, and walk to Talbot House (a great place, and where I find myself closest to "them"), and wander the small town, imagining the evenings there....drunks...laughter....brothels..etc

You have just so much to explore and discover.

I am POSITIVE your first visit won't be your last.

Enjoy.

Bruce

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Bruce,

Thank you for the advice, I will print all you say and go over it with my two

pals who are making the trip with me, I have this terrible feeling that four days

is too short, but hey its a start, and by all accounts this will only wet my appetite.

Thanks again, will talk more before I go. peter

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Tony,

Is there a pattern developing?.

It could get to the stage where I get your shopping in and a meal in the oven ready for your arrival. :lol:

Glad you got slightly nearer to the caves than I did.

Ian. ;)

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Hey Bigfella,

Did you put that beer behind Tommies for me. Hope you left it in good order. Am off tom night. Cant wait

TT

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TT,

Didn't get to have one in the Tommy bar so I bought it home for you.

Ian. ;)

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Peter,

From an Irish perspective, when in Ypres area you should try and visit;

Francis Ledwidge memorial near Artillery wood cemetery where he is buried, you may even see the tricolour flying;

The Irish peace park in Messine;

On the road from Wytschaete to Kemmel you will see a 16 Division Cross and new memorial stones making the boundaries between 16 & 36 Divisions as they fought alongside each other in the battle of Messines Ridge.

While in the Somme area I would recommend that before you go that you should research the history of the Tyneside Irish, you will have a grand stand view of their sacrifice when visiting Lochnagar Crater.

The 16 Division memorials in Guillemont is also worth a visit from a national perspective.

As many of the respondents have said there is so much to visit but so little time.

Enjoy

gerb

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