This event is for ROSL members and their guests only. We will check membership numbers on booking and anyone who books on and is not a member will have their ticket(s) refunded.
ROSL’s 2017 battlefield tour, ‘From the Somme to Cambrai: British and Dominion forces’, will continue our WWI centenary theme by studying the campaigns of 1916 and 1917, when Britain and the Dominions began to take a decisive role on the Western Front. During the tour, we will look at the actions of Australian, Canadian, Indian, New Zealand and South African troops, as well as the British Army. We will also see where the United States Army came into action for the first time.
Travelling by coach, we will begin by visiting Vimy Ridge, where the Canadian Corps led the British advances on the first day of the Battle of Arras in April 1917. On the second day, we will move down to the Somme and investigate this pivotal battle. The commemorations this year have tended to focus on the first day of the battle, 1 July 1916, but the fighting lasted for 141 days, and with our deeper investigation, we will explore how the South Africans, Australians, New Zealanders and Canadians all contributed.
On Sunday, we will trace the operations of spring 1917, as the German Army withdrew to their new defences on the Hindenburg Line, and how these were tested by British assaults at Arras and Bullecourt. This visit will also provide the opportunity to see Wellington Quarry in Arras, an astonishing underground complex, dug by New Zealand engineers, where troops assembled before the attack. On our last day, we will visit Cambrai, the first battlefield where tanks were used en masse. Members will marvel at tank D51 Deborah: knocked out in the battle and buried for 80 years, it is now preserved at Flesquières Museum for all to see.
Guests welcome. Price includes accommodation, coach travel, guiding by expert military historian Michael Orr, all entrance fees and meals. Please note: there are limited drinks per meal. Please register interest to be sent most up to date pricing and schedule information.