I have just return from France where I participated in a 3 day Western Front Battlefields tour with Sacred Ground Tours.
I have wanted to do this for some time now as my Grandfather served on the Western Front and was awarded a D.C.M. He was also part of the gun crew which fired the first allied shot of World War I from Point Nepean (Australia) as a Germany freighter endeavoured to escape Port Phillip Bay to open seas.
As I crossed the English Channel I received a message to see if I could find three uncles, from my wife’s cousin. This was two days prior to our tour commencement. Phil managed to find two uncles on the first day and the third grave at Fromelles Cemetery. Photos of these grave sites provided much joy to family back in Australia.
Visiting and viewing the Great War battlefields and experiencing the Last Post at Menin Gate was something I will never forget. We only visited a small number of the 2,500 World War I cemeteries and to experience the feeling of serenity which existed therein. It is difficult to comprehend the atrocities of war with the now tranquil battlefields which are farmlands once again.
I have only praise for Phil (Australian owner/operator of Sacred Ground Tours and Arras resident) and Mathilde, our driver/guide on the third day. Their knowledge of World War I battles was impeccable and their commentary ranged from heart breaking to very entertaining.
Sacred Ground Tours does give the option of taking a one, two or three day tour. However, I would recommend the three day tour to anyone contemplating such a venture.
Again many thanks to Sacred Ground Tours for a wonderful three days.