2018 Armistice Remembrance Day in Ypres
(Four day tour)
Ypres; there is no more sacred a place to be to mark the 100th Anniversary of the Armistice and the end of the Great War than the beautiful town of Ypres. You will have the chance to attend the commemorative events that are held in the town on the 11th November. Join in the Poppy Parade and walk through the crowds to the Grote Markt to witness the special Last Post Ceremony at the Menin Gate. In the afternoon you can attend the ‘Great War Remembered Concert’ in the stunning Saint Martin’s Cathedral. Whatever you choose to do, it will be an experience you will never forget.
Day One: Depart by coach from your chosen UK collection point and proceed to the Eurotunnel Terminal at Folkstone where we catch our train to Calais. From Calais we will drive you to your hotel where the rest of the day is at your leisure.
Day Two: After a leisurely breakfast your coach will take you to Ypres where, if you wish, you will be able to take part in the commemoration events. These include the ‘Poppy Parade’ walking through the town from Saint Martin’s Cathedral to the Menin Gate for a special Last Post Remembrance Ceremony which takes place at 11:00am.
Throughout the rest of the day you can enjoy this wonderful town that acquires a very special atmosphere over this Armistice period. You may choose to visit the In Flanders Field Museum, housed in the Cloth Hall, walk along the Ramparts, visit St George’s Chapel, taste samples in the chocolate shops, or just enjoy a meal in one of the many excellent restaurants in the Grote Markt with a Belgium beer.
Each year, there are two Great War Remembered Concerts held in Saint Martin’s Cathedral; one in the afternoon and another later in the evening. Tickets to this unique event will be available through the Last Post Association. Details have yet to be released for the 2018 concerts but information on the 2017 concerts can be found by clicking here.
There is also the chance to attend the production of ‘Journey’s End’ which plays over the Armistice period at 16:00 daily. The performance takes place at the Kruitmagazijn (Gunpowder Strore) in Ypres. Tickets go on sale December 2017. More details about the play can be found here.
At 8:00pm the traditional Last Post Ceremony is sounded under the Menin Gate when the many bands in attendance strike up once again.
Your coach will be then be waiting to take you back to your hotel.
Day Three: We explore the battlefields of Ypres looking at the key sites. We visit the largest British War Cemetery in the world, Tyne Cot with 11,965 graves before moving on to look at Third Ypres, Passchendaele and the Canadian Memorial at Crest Farm.
We will visit Vancouver Corner and the Brooding Soldier memorial to the 1st Canadian Division. This area was the scene of the first gas attacks in 1915 which culminated in the start of the Second Battle of Ypres. Then we travel on to see an example of a German Cemetery at Langemark.
We will take you to Polygon Wood, Hill 60 and Ploegsteert (Plugstreet) where we discuss the Christmas Truce that took place here in 1914 before moving on to see the Ploegsteert Memorial..
It any of our guests has a special request to visit a family member’s grave or memorial we will do our best to make this happen.
Day Four: Upon leaving your hotel we will continue with some ‘behind the lines’ touring with visits to Essex Farm Cemetery with its Advanced Dressing Station and Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery and visitor centre, the second largest CWGC cemetery in Belgium after Tyne Cot Cemetery.
We will then move on to Poperinge where you will have some free time to explore and acquire some lunch. You could see the haunting Death Cells located in the Town Hall where soldiers condemned to execution were kept.
You may wish to visit the famous Talbot House; known as the ‘Every man’s club’, it provided rest and recreation to all soldiers coming in, regardless of their rank. Certainly not your normal museum as you’ll have the chance to play the piano, visit the chapel or have a cup of tea!
We will then travel back to the Eurotunnel terminal at Calais and our train back to the UK.
The Great War Remembered Concert at Saint Martin’s Cathedral
Rifleman Tours group waiting for Poppy Parade to begin