Trace your wartime ancestors with Historical Trips

2015-16 will mark the 100th anniversary of some of wartime history’s most dramatic and harrowing battles including the Gallipoli campaign and the battles of the Somme and Verdun. Every year, Historical Trips receive requests from guests who wish to visit the graves of relatives, ancestors and loved ones who fell in the great conflicts of the 20th century and they have the expertise to build a sensitive and individual account into the experience.

Some people are interested in travelling alone, some as a small party and others as part of a club or society. Whether guests want to travel in 5 star comfort or stay in budget accommodation Historical Trips can arrange tours tailor-made for individual circumstances and matched with an appropriate guide or historian. On scheduled trips they can research where family members fought and died, take the group to the relevant battlefields, describe the specific battlefield action and the general historical context in which it was fought. They have also been able to help many guests locate and visit memorials of interest to the group and individuals.

The company was founded with the aim of sharing the full story behind some of the most crucial episodes from world history and each trip features an extremely knowledgeable historian as a guide. These historians outline the cultural, social and political contexts, as well as the personal stories, behind each event, bringing the past to life.

The following series of new and up-and-coming centenary tours focus on some of the biggest plights of WW1 and can incorporate individual research into family heritage.

The Great War – An Introduction to the Western Front Tour

Follow the old trench lines along which Europe’s youth sacrificed themselves for the four devastating years of the First World War. This five-day journey covers the whole course of the conflict from the earliest battles around the Ypres Salient, to the Somme in 1916, Arras and Passchendaele in 1917 and Allied victory in 1918. The tour is led by historian and broadcaster Nigel Jones; his father served on the staff of Field Marshal Sir Douglas Haig and his uncle was killed near Ypres in 1915. It will be an expert and highly-personal account of a war which irrevocably changed the course of 20th Century history, as well as the lives of the millions who fought in ‘Flanders Fields’.

This 5-day tour starts at £1,250, and includes expert Guide Lecturer Nigel Jones, Historical Trips tour manager, local transfers, lectures, entrance fees and tips, all meals and wine with dinner, and 4* hotel accommodation. Departures available on the 6th July and 7th September 2015.

Damn the Dardanelles: 100 Years after the Gallipoli Campaign

One hundred years after one of the most controversial campaigns of the Great War, pre-eminent First World War historian Professor Gary Sheffield* offers fresh insight into The Gallipoli Campaign. Stand among the olive trees in a place where, in 1915, the Great War was expected to turn in the favour of the Allies’. Instead, it became a scene of bloodshed and carnage. For some, it is the great missed opportunity — one that would have offered a way around the bloody deadlock of the Western Front. For others, it was a monumental folly and a catastrophic strategic blunder, further compounded by tactical incompetence. Historical Trips presents the opportunity to walk in the steps of the soldiers, and discuss a variety of perspectives — dissecting interpretations from the British, Australian and New Zealanders, and the often neglected ally, the French, as well as those of the victors, the Turks. One hundred years later, travellers are invited to stand on the landing beaches at Cape Helles and Anzac, and retrace the bitter fighting inland and the doomed attempt to outflank the Turkish defences at Suvla Bay. From visits to the Gallipoli peninsula and a day of sightseeing in Istanbul, this 8-day tour provides holidaymakers and history buffs alike with an understanding and perception that only standing on hallowed ground can deliver.

This 8-day tour starts at £2,350 per person and includes return flights from London to Istanbul, expert guide lecturer Professor Gary Sheffield and a Historical Trips tour manager, 4* hotel accommodation, all meals, transfers by boat and coach, lectures, entrance fees and a signed copy of The First World War in 100 Objects by Professor Gary Sheffield. Departing 6th September 2015.

Strange Meetings – The Poets of the First World War

In the popular imagination of the First World War, it is most vividly chronicled not by historians, but by its poets. Beyond the brilliance of their verse, the lives of Owen, Sassoon, Thomas and Brooke have become an enduring symbol of the conflict itself. Of bright young talent, cut brutally short as the conflict claimed ‘half the seed of Europe, one by one.’ Over five days Historical Trips visit the sites where Siegfried Sassoon met Robert Graves and where Owen’s gallantry at Joncourt won him the Military Cross, among many others. Follow in the footsteps of these artists and soldiers whose lives and works remain as unflinching and profoundly moving today, as a century ago.

This 5-day tour starts at £1,250 per person and includes return ferry from Dover-Calais, expert guide lecturer Professor Nigel Jones and a Historical Trips tour manager, 4* hotel accommodation, all meals, lectures, entrance fees and a signed copy of Rupert Brooke: Life, Death & Myth by Nigel Jones. Departing 21st September 2015.

Tours in 2016

Rendezvous with Death – The Battle of the Somme

The Somme is one of the bloodiest and most controversial battles in British history. The British commander Sir Douglas Haig hoped that it would break the trench deadlock, but it became a battle of attrition, raging from July to November 1916. Historians still dispute whether it was mere futile slaughter, or an important and unavoidable stepping stone to victory in the First World War. On this tour Historical Trips visit a number of sites covering many facets of the battle, ranging from those associated with the notorious first day (1 July 1916), such as Thiepval and Mametz, through the fighting in August and September (Delville Wood, Guillemont), and finally the events of October and November that closed the campaign (including Beaumont-Hamel).This in-depth study of the Battle of the Somme looks at the planning, execution and aftermath with the aim of understanding what happened. A major theme of the tour will be the way that modern warfare emerged from the crucible of the Somme. The tour is led by Professor Gary Sheffield, a leading historian of the First World War, who has written books on Douglas Haig, and the Battle of the Somme.

This trip departs Monday 5th September 2016. Please get in touch if you require prices and further information.

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