2015 WWI Battle Fields Tour

26th September saw 45 members and friends of the RMA and RBL leave Deal on the now annual Battlefields Tour.

A sunny and calm day one, meant a smooth ferry crossing from Dover, arriving in France early afternoon for onward travel to our Novotel accommodation near Amiens.
En route we passed the cemetery at Notre Dame de Lorette, across Vimy Ridge, stopping at the stunning memorial to the Canadian Forces, and onto the Royal Naval Division Memorial at Garvelle.

Day two started early, with many of us watching the Light 15 Citroen owners club leaving our hotel in an impressive cloud of fumes!
A full day of battlefield visits followed, including Maricourt, High Wood, Lochnagar Crater, and Ulster Tower. Lunch at a local restaurant with a small museum and onto Ancre for a memorial service, wreath laying and Last Post, provided by Pastie. The day also included a visit to the towering Thiepval Memorial and visitor centre. This memorial, although currently undergoing restoration, can be seen right across the Somme and provides a sombering reminder to the numbers of lives lost in WWI.

Day three we worked our way back towards Calais, stopping at the Loos battlefield site and the cemetery containing the memorial to the Queen Mother's Brother, Cpt F Bowes-Lyon. There was also an opportunity to here the story and visit the grave of Kiplings son.
A quick drop off at a hypermarket for supplies and a smooth ferry crossing back, rounded off and excellent weekend.

Thanks must go to Mike Conn for all his hard work in organising the trip, to the RMCTF for their support and to our drivers and guide who looked after us so well for three days. ( No-one is to mention the rugby)

SLC

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