WW1: The Western Front with Ronan McGreevy
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The Irish on The Western Front
This fascinating itinerary follows the events and visits the monuments discussed in Ronan McGreevy’s book Wherever the Firing Line Extends: Ireland and the Western Front. Described by The Irish Independent as the “definitive account of Ireland in World War I”, this book tells the story of the remarkable legacy left behind by the Irish on the Western Front.
Your guide Ronan McGreevy is an Irish Times journalist and videographer. He is the presenter of documentary United Ireland: how Nationalists and Unionists fought together in Flanders. He is also the editor of Centenary – Ireland remembers 1916, the book covering the commemorations of 2016 and is editor of Was it for This? Reflections on the Easter Rising. In 2018 he was made a Chevalier des Arts et Lettres by the French government for his work in remembrance of the First World War. His latest book Great Hatred: The Assassination of Field Marshal Sir Henry Wilson MP (2022) was an Irish bestseller.
Once in Brussels, check into your hotel. You will then go to Messines to pay a sobering visit to The Island of Ireland Peace Park. View the Battle of Messines Ridge and the Pool of Peace. Visit the Wytschaete Military Cemetery in Wijtschate, Belgium to see the memorial to the 16th (Irish) Division. Visit the two neighboring road markers to be reminded of how the 36th (Ulster) and 16th (Irish) Divisions cooperated throughout the conflict.
Visit the new Willie Redmond and John Meeke memorial that is next to Wytschaete Cemetery.
Today you will go to Notre-Dame-De-International Lorette’s WWI Memorial, known as the Ring of Remembrance. Check out the names of the 576,000 troops from all lands who lost their lives in northern France during the conflict. Visit the adjacent French national memorial to the 1.4 million country’s fallen as well.
From Herlies, travel to Rue Du Bois. Visit the Le Touret Memorial to see the memorialised names of the 127 members of the Royal Irish Regiment whose remains were never discovered. Visit the Portuguese and Indian war memorials before going to the location of the Last General Absolution of the Munsters at Rue du Bois. Visit the monument to the Irish fallen at the Battle of Le Pilly.
Visit Lieutenant John Kipling’s tomb and see how his passing influenced his father to pen a book on the Irish Guards’ history. visit to the London Irish Rifles’ New Memorial and The Loos Memorial to the Missing which has the names of thousands of Irish soldiers who lost their lives in that terrible fight.
On this day you travel to the Somme, Visit the Tyneside Irish Memorial at La Boisselle. Visit the Loughnagar Crater, which was destroyed on July 1, 1916, in the morning. Visit the Ulster Tower, a monument honouring the 36th Ulster Division’s soldiers. View actual frontline trenches from the Battle of the Somme at the Newfoundland Memorial. Additionally, check out the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing. Keep going to the 16th (Irish) Division memorial in Guillemont, which commemorates some of the most brutal combat throughout the whole Somme campaign. Also visit Ginchy & Guillemont Road Cemetery and see the grave of Major Raymond Asquith, the son of the British Prime Minister Herbert Asquit. Also pay visit Herbert Lemass’s tomb; The cousin of former Taoiseach Sean Lemass.
Free time in the morning to visit Ypres museum or do some shopping. Afterward, meet your guide and head to Poelcappelle Cemetery and visit the grave of John Condon and learn of the real story of the teenager from Waterford who the Commonwealth War Graves Commission claim is the youngest British soldier to die in the First World War. Visit to the Ledwidge Memorial and see the memorial to the poet and nationalist Francis Ledwidge on the exact spot where he fell.
Visit to the New Irish Memorial, the monument commemorates the last time the 16th (Irish) and 36th (Ulster) Divisions fought side by side during the Battle of Passchendaele, when both divisions were utterly destroyed. Visit Tyne Cot Cemetery next, which is the world’s largest cemetery for Commonwealth war burials.
Afterwards travel to Brussels Airport and depart for Dublin Airport after a jam packed tour.
- Return flights from Dublin to Brussels including taxes & charges
- Professional historian guide, Ronan McGreevy
- 3 nights accommodation in the superior Novotel Ieper Centrum Flanders Fields hotel located in the heart of Ypres with breakfast
- Guided visits to key sites of the Flanders Battlefields including the Island of Ireland Peace Park, Willie Redmond’s Grave, the 16th Irish Division
- Memorial at Wytschaete, John Condon’s Grave, Francis Ledwidge Memorial, Tyne Cot & Passchendaele
- Visit to the The Lille sector including the Ring Of Remembrance and the French national memorial at Notre-Dame-De-Lorette. See the grave of John Kipling, the location of the Last General Absolution of the Munsters at Rue du Bois, the grave of John Kipling and the site where the Irish were gassed on the Western Front during Easter Week 1916.
- Meet the locals who maintain the Irish memorial in the village of Le Pilly.
- Visit to the Somme Battlefields to include Memorial to the Tyneside Irish, Loughnagar Crater, The Ulster Tower, Thiepval Memorial, Ginchy & Guillemont
- Price based on 2 sharing including all airport taxes & charges
- Single room supplement €129pp. If you are travelling alone and are willing to share a twin room with another group member of the same sex, we will do our best to accommodate this request although it cannot be guaranteed
- Non refundable / non transferable deposit of €250pp required at time of booking
- Balance due 10 weeks before departure
- Price includes 1 standard piece of hand luggage. Checked-in luggage is available to purchase prior to travel – prices may vary
- Optional insurance available from €24pp (terms & conditions apply)
- More WW1 Battlefiels Tours Available from Dublin & Cork. Click here for more details
- City taxes may apply, payable locally at your hotel
- Flights, taxes, prices & itinerary subject to change
- Booking terms & conditions apply
Why Book with us?
- Irish owned & operated and have been in business since 2003
- Experienced and professional staff
- 24-hour emergency service
- Professional guides
- Licenced by the Commission for Aviation Regulation, TA 0533