RoundHouseB (1)
York city walls
RoundHouseB (1)
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Turning the Tide or Senseless Slaughter? The Battle of the Somme 1916.

Pick-up/Drop-off: Hotel in central Arras (convenient for TGV, with connections for Eurostar)

Accommodation: single hotel in the Somme region.

The Battle of the Somme dominates British collective memory of the First World War. It has come to symbolise doomed youth, suffering and futile loss. Indeed, the casualties of 1 July 1916 stand as a horrific reminder of the lessons the British Army had yet to learn during the Great War. However, the soldiers and generals of both the British and French armies who passed through the cauldron of the Somme went on to deal the decisive blows to the German army in 1918. For the Germans the Somme became "the muddy grave of the German field army," whilst the German General Staff acknowledged that their army "could tolerate no more Somme fighting." Furthermore, events on the Somme left a most profound impression on some of the great political leaders of the the later twentieth century, such as Harold Macmillan.

This tour takes in the classic Somme venues of Thiepval, the Ulster Memorial, Lochnagar Crater and Beaumont Hamel, but also includes other less familiar sites. There is a walking tour of the hugely atmospheric Mametz Wood, linked to the experiences of Siegfried Sassoon, Robert Graves and the less-well-known, but immensely important Wyn Griffiths, as well as visits to the towns and museums of Péronne and Albert. The tour will help you engage in an energetic, but respectful manner with a battle that raged from July to November 1916 and is arguably one of the most significant historical events of the twentieth century.
The memorial to the Welsh Division, Mametz Wood
The awesome Lochnagar Crater, blown 1 July 1916
A tranquil part of the Anglo-French memorial at Thiepval