Battle of Passchendaele 100th Anniversary Remembrance Tour
(Four day battlefield tour of the Ypres Salient)
The 31st July 2017 marks the centenary of the Third Battle of Ypres which became more commonly known as the Battle of Passchendaele. This battle is synonymous with the Great War and the conditions in which it was fought. For four months British, Australian and Canadian troops fought through one of the wettest summers recorded in the region. Intensive shelling broke up the irrigation system and created a lunar landscape which identifies this particular battle.
To mark the centenary of the Battle, a number of events will take place in and around Ypres.
On the afternoon of Monday 31 July 2017 a commemorative event will be held at Tyne Cot Cemetery the largest Commonwealth War Graves Commission cemetery in the world in terms of burials. There are 11,961 Commonwealth servicemen buried here, of whom more than 8,300 remain unidentified. Due to the expected high public demand and the limited capacity at the site, the event will be accessible by ticket only. Tickets are free of charge, and will be available via a public ballot. The ballot opened on 3 January 2017, and closes on 24 February 2017. Below is the link to the website which will enable you to enter. https://www.passchendaele100.org/
There will also be an event taking place in the Grote Markt in Ypres on the evening of Sunday 30 July 2017. The Last Post Ceremony at the Menin Gate will be shown on large screens in the Grote Markt. This will be followed by a multi-media cultural event, combining live performance with projection mapping on the iconic Cloth Hall, which will tell the story of the First World War on the Ypres Salient. Again this event is free of charge but, unlike the Tyne Cot event, you do not need a ticket to attend.
Many who apply may not receive a ticket to attend the remembrance event at Tyne Cot but will want to be around the Ypres Salient on this anniversary to show your respects to the fallen. With this in mind, Rifleman Tours is to hold a four day battlefield tour which will incorporate a remembrance service held at a prominent Commonwealth Cemetery in the area on the 31 July to pay our respects.
Should you enter the ballot and are successful in obtaining a ticket, Rifleman Tours will take you to the park and ride where transport provided by the event organisers will ferry you to Tyne Cot Cemetery and back at the end of the event where a member of the Rifleman Team will be waiting for you.
This battlefield tour will be based in the centre of Ypres at the 3 star Albion Hotel located just a short stroll from the Menin Gate and the Grote Markt, perfectly placed for all the remembrance events.
On the 1 August a battlefield tour will be conducted looking at the main events of this historic battle. We will visit the sites of Pilkem Ridge where the Welsh Division commenced the battle through to Langemark where Harry Patch, the last surviving Tommy, fought and was wounded.
We plan to visit and study Polygon Wood where the Australians attacked in late September before visiting the Passchendaele Museum and then onto Tyne Cot on the Broodseinde Ridge.
Finally we look at Passchendaele which lends its name to this savage battle and the Canadian Memorial which sits on the German strong point at Crest Farm before looking at the now reconstructed town.