Visiting the Battlefields of the First World War can be an enlightening and emotional journey for many people. The Western Front covers a vast amount of ground both at the front and behind the lines. Using the experience I have built, and continue to build, tours to the battlefields are designed and shaped with the customers main needs foremost.
Touring the battlefields, interpreting and explaining the history is more of a passion rather than a job and I enjoy taking the time and effort to accurately describe the areas we will travel to. I use many sources to do this including original unit war diary extracts, personal recollections from the veterans who served, historical evidence and original trench maps, many geo-referenced for GPS. The First War has left a long lasting legacy in the areas in which it took place, this can be seen today in the form of the hundreds of Military cemeteries that lie in and around the battlefields, concrete bunkers, geographical features such as old trenches and Mine Craters and the debris of war which still litters the farmers fields which were once the Battlefields.
Using my historical knowledge of the battlefields and coupling it together with the military experience I have attained whilst in the Army I go a long way to try to emphasise what the soldiers went through, what conditions were like and what life was like for them during these difficult times. The First World War is not all about fighting in the front line.
A lot went on in the areas behind the lines. Many lasting legacies of
what happened in the rear area are visible today. I like to encompass
the areas behind the lines as well as the front lines whilst guiding. I
find that with careful explanation that this leads to a greater
understanding of what happened.
TOURS AND ITINERARIES
I operate many different types of tour to the battlefields, ranging from tours that give an introduction to the Western Front to more bespoke tours that either follow a theme or have a genealogical touch to them. I have many different itineraries that suit varying customer needs and cover not just the British area of the Western Front but also those areas fought over by our French allies.
you get in contact with Trenchmaptours let me know what you expect to
gain from your visit to the Western Front and I will put together a
provisional itinerary to see if it meets your needs and shape it from
there. Some customers chose to spend a few days focussing on the main
parts of the Western Front fought over by the British. Others wish to
follow the route of a particular battle or phase of the war. Some
choose to follow a particular subject within the war, medical,
logistics, tunnelling etc and wish a tour itinerary to be built around
their chosen subject.
For more information on itineraries and building a tour around your needs then please contact Trenchmaptours.
you contact Trenchmaptours with your planned dates I will endeavour to
get back to you as soon as possible with my availability for touring.
Where the case arises that I am unable to guide the tour over the dates
you require, and your dates cannot be changed, then I will recommend a
small select group of other guides that I know and work with who I am
happy can deliver a tour to the high standard required.
WARNING – UNEXPLODED ORDNANCE!
of the long lasting legacies of the First War is the amount of
unexploded ammunition that still lies in the area. It is not uncommon
to see piles of unexploded shells, mortar projectiles and grenades,
unearthed by farmers lying at the side of the road or in areas where
construction takes place. It is a part of everyday life for the local
people who live in these once ravished areas. The French and Belgian
Bomb Disposal teams who patrol the areas picking up the UXO are amongst
the busiest in the world. It is not unheard of for their annual “Iron
Harvest” to be from 100 – 300 tonnes of shells and munitions.