Tanks & Trenches Ww1
The First World War lasted for four years, three months and 14 days. By the time the armistice was agreed, the total number of military and civilian casualties had reached more than 40 million, making it one of the deadliest conflicts in world history. WW1 saw the birth of the tank and its first use in the Battle on the Somme. Together with your war tour guide, explore the pivotal Battle of St Quentin Canal as well as the battlefields around Cambrai with a visit to the excellent Cambrai Tank Museum which houses ‘Deborah’, an original Mk. 4 British tank used in 1917. There is also an included visit to the highly acclaimed Commonwealth War Graves Commission Experience in Beaurains.
PLEASE NOTE: Price is per person and based on two people sharing a twin/double room. Single room supplements and upgrades are not included.
DAY 1 - From your chosen joining point your feeder vehicle will take you to the designated interchange point where your holiday begins. After joining your holiday coach, you travel to Dover for the short sea crossing to Calais, then continue to Saint-Quentin in Picardy to check into your centrally located hotel for your 3-night stay. There are plenty of restaurants and cafes within walking distance for evening meals. Bed & continental breakfast.
Take time this afternoon to explore Saint-Quentin. The impressive town hall on the Grande Place in the centre of the town is the place of surrender of two British Colonels during the retreat from Mons in 1914. The extraordinary basilica (directly opposite your hotel) is visible from miles around and still carrying signs of war damage and preparation for destruction by explosives. It was only re-opened in 1956 after extensive reconstruction.
DAY 2 – Start the day at the German cemetery of Maissemy where more than 30,000 soldiers are buried. Continue to the Bridge at Riqueval, the location of one of the British Army’s finest feats of arms in the breaking of the Hindenburg Line in September 1918, securing a vital supply line across the canal. Then head through the village of Bellicourt, scene of fierce fighting, to the American Cemetery at Bony, a 14-acre cemetery containing the graves of 1,844 military dead, the majority of whom lost their lives while serving in American units attached to British armies.
Head to the Cambrai Battlefields where over 400 tanks broke the Hindenburg Line in November 1917 to visit the Cambrai Memorial at Louverval, a CWGC memorial for the missing soldiers of WW1 who fought in the Battle of Cambrai on the Western Front. Entrance is included to the "Cambrai Tank 1917", at Flesquieres, to visit to ‘Deborah’, a WWI Mk. 4 British tank discovered under the battlefields of Cambrai. After lying buried for decades, it is now housed in her own museum which opened in March 2018.
DAY 3 – The day starts in Péronne, near the heart of the Somme battlefields. Few French towns have been so repeatedly devasted over history, not least during WW1. Your visit includes entrance to the impressive war museum, ‘Historial de la Grande Guerre’ housed within the Château de Péronne. This moving museum shows the impact of the conflict on the 20th century and what life was like for the soldiers in the front-line trenches. Your coach will then take you across to the southern banks of the Somme to walk what remains of some of the German and French lines from 1915 before heading to Froissy to take a 14km round trip on the restored P’tit Train de la Haute Somme, built to supply the trenches and the front.
Entrance to the Narrow Gauge Railway Museum is also included. Before returning to the hotel you will visit the battlefield of the Somme near Fricourt and Mametz along the old frontline of July 1916. Visit some of the cemeteries that have particular connections to the Battle of the Somme.
DAY 4 - Travel back to Calais with a stop at the brand-new Commonwealth War Graves Commission Experience at Beaurains where visitors will be able to see the Commission’s team of skilled craftsmen at work from carving headstones as well as learning about the Commission’s work to restore and conserve CWGC’s sites. Cross the Channel from Calais to Dover for the return home.Back to top
IBIS SAINT QUENTIN BASILIQUE
This is a modern and comfortable 3* hotel located in the heart of Saint Quentin, capital of Haute Picardie and a city famed for its art deco architecture.
All en-suite guestrooms offer TV and WiFi. Hair dryers are available on request. There is a bar in the hotel and plenty of cafes and restaurants within walking distance. There is a lift.