Pick up from Ebbsfleet International Rail Terminal and Dover Eastern Docks for our journey across to France via Dover - Calais ferry. Once on the continent we make our way towards Belgium, stopping at Lijssenthoek Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery, the second largest in the world. Here we set the scene on the formation of the Ypres salient in 1914 through to 1917 and the strategic importance of the region. From here we make travel on to our accommodation in Diksmuide
Our morning considers the ground between Hellfire Corner and Polygon Wood, we study the nature of the landscape and how it impacts on the British thinking and strategy in the Third Battle of Ypres, our stands will include Birr Crossroads, the 1915 battles at Railway Wood & Hooge that shape the Salient, Clapham Junction as the 18th Division attempt to breakout in July 1917, Gheluvelt and the importance of the plateau, Zandvoorde throughout the war and end at Polygon Wood to study the integration of Artlillery and Infantry during the Anzac Corps advance over this ground in September 1917.
Today we staudy the northern sector of the Ypres Salient from Boezinghe to Passchendaele, beginning with a study of the Guards Division advance across the Canal in July 1917, we follow the BEF Operations in and around Langemark, we then look at the ground around St Julian, and onto Zonnebeke, we complete the day with a study the Canadian advance up in to Passchendaele ending the day in the village and the impressive 66 Division Memorial stain glass window in the church.
Evening attendance at the Menin Gate and free time in Ypres will end our day.
Today we head to the coast to study the joint Naval and Army Operations planned for 1917 and undertaken in the Spring of 1918. Beginning at Nieuwpoort we look at the ground assaulted by German Marine forces in their Operation Strandfest. We then head to Middlekerke where we discuss the British 'Hush Hush' Scheme to land 1st British Division in an amphibious operation in 1917. After lunch in Ostend and a visit to the HMS Vindictive Memorial on the sea front, we end with an in-depth study of the St George's Day Raid, 23 April 1918 before returning to Diksmuide
Our final morning in the salient provides an opportunity to enjoy the city of Ypres itself before we head to the ferry via a visit to Mendingham Cemetery for a personal visit.