WFA Tours: dates announced for 2014
- 4 - 7 July 2014: WFA Poets Tour - Poets at Ypres
- 22 - 25 August 2014: WFA Archaeology Tour
- 17 - 20 October 2014: WFA Chairman's Tour – The Aisne – Four Years of War (slight change to dates originally advertised)
Booking arrangements and the detailed itineraries will be announced later this year.
2013 Tours Status
- Poets at Arras - 5 to 8 July read the report on this year's tour; see below for last year's report.
- Archaeology in the Great War - 9 to 12 August (see report below on last year's tour).
- Chairman's Tour: The Battles of Messines - 25 to 28 October (see report below on 2012's tour). Now fully booked for 2013.
NB Poets Tours dates for 2015 have also been announced.
Past WFA Tours held in 2012:
- July 2012 - Poets on the Somme - read the report and view photographs
- September 2012 - Archaeology on the Western Front - read the report and view photographs
- October 2012 - The Chairman's Tour - Arras to Cambrai - read the report and view photographs
Bruce Simpson, Chairman of the WFA, writes:
I was often been asked "When is the WFA going to undertake tours to the Western Front like we did years ago?" Unfortunately, until 2012, I always had to reply that this was not possible due to the complexities of our charitable status and also because of the commercial risks involved.
I was therefore absolutely delighted to be able to announce that these matters have been resolved and that things have now changed. From 2012, the WFA, in association with Battle Honours Ltd, a company formed by Clive Harris (a WFA member), would offer a programme of tours specifically for fellow members of The Western Front Association. The programme would take us from 2012 through to the anniversary of the Armistice in 2018.
Our initial aim was to arrange three or four tours every year between 2012 and the hundredth anniversary of the Armistice. (Please bear in mind that those listed below for future years are outline proposals, and the final detail is subject to some modification. Please watch for advertisements in the WFA's monthly eNewsletter, the WFA's Bulletin and here on the WFA website.) These tours will be available to WFA members. A list of the planned tours is shown below.
On behalf of the WFA, Clive has also approached and obtained the acceptance of the following experts in their field to attend and present a lecture to the group on various tours:
Peter Hart - IWM Sound Archives of the Great War
Gordon Corrigan - The Indian Soldier at Neuve Chapelle
Taff Gillingham - Uniforms and Equipment of the Great War
Philippe Gorczinsky - The Tanks at Cambrai
Mike St Maur Sheil - Photographing the Old Front Line
David Cohen - Art and Artists of the Great War
Jon Nicholls - Author of Cheerful Sacrifice - the Battle of Arras
Philip Robinson and David Hedges of the Durand Group - Tunnelling in the Great War
Should there be a request from the membership for tours to other less well known battlefields, and if there is sufficient support for such tours, then we could also consider, for example, Verdun, The Aisne, The Vosges, Gallipoli, Italy, Palestine and German East Africa. Members who wish to make proposals for alternative tours are encouraged to contact Clive in the first instance (contact details are shown ifor each tour).
Full details of these tours are always on the WFA web site, just visit the home page and look for the Tours link.
Although these tours are endorsed by the WFA, all arrangements and bookings will be through Battle Honours and not the WFA.
Future proposed tours:
- July 2014 - Poets at Ypres
- August 2014 - Mons to the Marne 100 years on
- December 2014 - Ploegsteert and La Bassee 100 years on
- April 2015 - Aubers Ridge & Second Ypres 100 years on
- July 2015 - Poets at Loos and Cambrai
- September 2015 - Loos and Notre Dame de Lorette 100 years on
- July 2016 - The Somme 100 years on
- October 1916 - The Somme 100 years on
- April 2017 - Arras 100 years on
- September 2017 - Passchendaele 100 years on
- March 2018 - Der Tag 100 years on
- August 2018 - The Advance to Victory 100 years on
- November 2018 - The Armistice 100 years on
I, and my colleagues on the WFA's Executive Committee, are delighted with this new arrangement which will enable WFA members to travel to the Battlefields together and gain greater insights into this conflict which fascinates us all. It will also create an even stronger bond between members of our Association and foster the WFA's great sense of camaraderie.
I am looking forward to hearing the reports of these tours in the coming months and to joining you on as many as I possibly can.