Medics and Padres

Medics and Padres

The Non-Fighting Heroes of World War One

BattlefieldHistory

2nd - 5th August 2018
(4 Days)

Guide : Simon Jones

Tour price: £1,245

click here to book

Medics and Padres

The Non-Fighting Heroes of World War One

BattlefieldHistory

Your Holiday Essentials

2nd - 5th August 2018
(4 Days)

Return Eurostar Standard Premier, 4 star hotel, buffet breakfast, 3-course dinner with drinks each evening, all entrance fees and expert guide throughout.

Activity Level: 2

Guide: Simon Jones

Tour price: £1,245

Single supplement: £155
Deposit: £125
Price without Eurostar: £1,095

Booking open

click here to book

Tour Introduction

Less of a battlefield tour but more of a behind the lines exploration, this tour focuses on the heroic and often untold stories of those men and women who dedicated themselves to helping and saving the fighting men of the Great War. Numerous Medics and Padres won the highest military honours for gallantry including the Victoria and Military Cross, and we’ll hear about a number of these acts of heroism throughout the tour. Based in Ypres, which became a major hub behind the front line for the British and Commonwealth forces throughout the war, you can get a feel of life away from the trenches and the incredible work that was done there to ensure the wounded and shell shocked were treated and returned home safely.

Background

Because of its industrial nature, the number of casualties in the First World War was on a scale never seen before. However, if you were wounded your chances of survival were high: that is if you could be evacuated into the casualty system quickly – from regimental aid post to advanced dressing station, to casualty clearing station, to base hospital, hospital ship and then on to England. The stories of those men and women who were involved in these processes have received more attention in recent years but they still come under the umbrella of ‘unsung heroes’. Some of the names that we come across on this tour such as ‘Woodbine Willie’, John McCrae and Vera Brittain, have become well known but we also pay tribute to the countless doctors, nurses, VAD’s, stretcher bearers, orderlies and padres who provided treatment, care and comfort to the men on the front-line.

Highlights

  • With WW1 expert Simon Jones
  • Menin gate ceremony
  • Visit graves of VC winners

"I would recommend Cultural Experience to anyone with a whiff of interest in this, or other military subjects, and I will most certainly be using CE again"

Itinerary

Day 1 - Depart London St Pancras for Lille by Eurostar

This afternoon we learn of the Women of Pervyse who ran a dressing station immediately behind the front line until they were gassed in 1918. At Essex Farm we visit the place where Dr. John McCrea wrote his famous poem In Flanders Fields in 1915, and the dressing station bunkers constructed in 1917 for the Battle of Passchendaele to discuss how casualties were evacuated and treated during the Battle. Check-in to our hotel in Ypres for three nights and attend the Menin Gate ceremony.

Day 2 - The Ypres Salient: front line bravery of RMOs and Padres

We tell the story of Dr. Noel Chavasse the only man to be awarded the Victoria Cross twice, and how Rev. Harold Ackroyd won his VC visiting his grave at Birr Cross Roads Cemetery. We will also hear of the heorics of Willie Doyle MC whose commemorated at Tyne Cot Cemetery, Rev. Noel Mellish VC , Studdert Kennedy MC known as Woodbine Willie, and Rev. Theodore Bailey Hardy VC. After lunch we will take an evening walking tour of Ypres including Little Toc H, Ramparts Dressing Station and the Wipers Times.

Day 3 - Casualty evacuation and life behind the lines

The Hop Store casualty clearing station at Vlamertinghe and the work of Rev. Charles Doudney. The work of Casualty Clearing Stations during the Passchendaele offensive at Brandhoek and Lijssenthoek Cemeteries, the graves of Noel Chavasse and Nurse Nellie Spindler (killed by shell-fire), and Charles Doudney. This afternoon we move onto Poperinghe and visit the famous soldiers’ hostel Talbot House (‘Toc H’), run by the legendary Tubby Clayton and preserved almost unchanged.

Day 4 - The French coast

Drive to Wimereux to explore the cliff top sites of hospitals where Alexander Fleming worked on streptococcus infections, and the British Cemetery for the graves of Dr. John and other medical staff. To Étaples for the breath-taking British Cemetery and the site of the hospital where Vera Brittain worked as a VAD Nurse. Our last stop is at Le Touquet to see the site of the Duchess of Westminster's hospital, then, as now, a casino. Return to London St Pancras by Eurostar.

Recommended Reading List

Photo Gallery

Your Holiday Essentials

2nd - 5th August 2018
(4 Days)

Return Eurostar Standard Premier, 4 star hotel, buffet breakfast, 3-course dinner with drinks each evening, all entrance fees and expert guide throughout.

Activity Level: 2

Guide: Simon Jones

Tour price: £1,245

Single supplement: £155
Deposit: £125
Price without Eurostar: £1,095

Booking open

click here to book

Photo Gallery

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