Mons… First and Last

Battlefield Tour

 

Mons… First and Last

(Three day tour of Mons, based in Ypres)

 

Western Front ToursIt is here at Mons on the 23rd August 1914 that the BEF’s II Corps collides with elements of the German First Army and the Battle of Mons ensues. Prior to this on the 22nd August German lancers and British cavalry had encountered each other and the first allied shot of the Great War was fired by 20-year-old private, Ernest Edward Thomas, a strapping young soldier of the 4th Dragoon Guards. This action is remembered on a memorial stand on the opposite side of the road where a plaque ironically remembers the last shots of the war being fired. Upon the British withdrawl the Germans occupy the town and it remains in German hands for fifty months until being until recaptured by the Canadians on the 11th November 1918.

And so, Mons is very much a historic town of first and lasts. From the inevitable shots that were fired to the first and last Commonwealth soldiers to be killed in this war to end all wars, as well as the famous the first Victoria Cross to be awarded. For those interested in the military history of this town and a look at the beautiful city of Ypres, this tour should be first and last on your list.

 

Itinerary

World War 1 Group toursDay One: Depart by coach from your chosen UK collection point and proceed to Dover for our channel crossing by ferry and then on to Ypres to check in to the Novotel Hotel (located in the centre of Ypres). With the rest of the day at your leisure, you can explore the historic and beautiful town visiting St Martin’s Cathedral and St George’s Chapel and finishing at the Menin Gate. Then enjoy a meal in one of the many restaurants in the Grote Markt and sample the famous Belgium beers before taking in the Last Post Ceremony at the Menin Gate.

Day Two: Upon arriving at Mons we visit the Memorial Museum (included in price) Western Front Tours before looking at where the first and last shots were fired and where the 4th Dragoon Guards engaged the German Lancers on the morning of 22nd August 1914. We then look at the canal defences in particular the 4th Middlesex at Obourg and the 4th Royal Fusiliers at Nimy Bridge. Battlefield TourHere Dease and Godley hold off advancing Germans with their Vickers machine gun and are awared the first VC’s of the war (one posthumously).

A packed lunch is taken in the Grand Place (included in price), the centre of the town. This gives you a chance to pat the head of the Guard Room Monkey for luck before we move on the visit the George Lawrence Price Memorial. Price is recognised as being the last soldier to be killed in the Great War.

Battlefield Tours

Continuing the tour we pay our respects to the fallen at the stunning St Symphorien Cemetery. Originally created and opened by the Germans, it is now looked after by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and has a number of noted burials here as well as memorial.

Day Three: Before travelling home, we see some of the Ypres Salient including a visit to Tyne Cot, the World War 1 Group Tourslargest British War Cemetery in the world with 11,965 graves of which 60% are ‘Known unto God’WW1 Battlefield ToursFrom here we 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.

We will then take a look ‘behind the lines’ and visit Essex Farm Cemetery with its Advanced Dressing Station and finish at Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery and visitor centre. We then journey back to the port for our crossing back to the UK.

Western Front Tours

Dease and Godley won VCs at Nimy Bridge

Battlefield Tour

Essex Farm Advance Dressing Station

Included In Your Tour

Battlefield visits as described in itinerary

Battlefield Guide and tour manager

Central Accommodation with continental breakfast

Lunch on tour days where specified

Entrance to all museums and places of interests visited

Return ferry crossing

Information pack

Executive coach or minibus travel including complimentary hot and cold drinks, bottled water and light snacks during the tour

Dates

28 – 30 September 2018

Cost

£395* per person

*Price is based on two people sharing

Total single supplement – £80

Major credit cards accepted

We pick up passengers from:

Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire

Toddington Services, M1 Motorway

South Mimms Services, M25

Ashford, Kent

Port of Dover

Click here for full details

Hotel Accommodation

You will be staying at the 3 star Novotel Ieper Centrum Flanders Field Hotel, in the centre of Ypres and a short walk from the Menin Gate and Grote Markt.

Battlefield ToursThe Novotel features free Wi-Fi, restaurant and bar and for breakfast serves an extensive hot or continental buffet with a range of local and international options.Battlefield Tours

All of the rooms have a flat-screen TV and tea and coffee making facilities.Battlefield Tours

For many people a trip to the battlefields is a personal pilgrimage and the chance to visit a long lost relative’s grave or see their name on a memorial. If you would like to stop at a memorial or specific cemetery to pay your respects we will do everything we can to include this in the tour.