A trip to the trenches, battlefields and memorials of the Somme deepens understanding of the sacrifices of WWI
- Travel by British touring coach
- Return Channel crossing
- Accommodation, full board
- 1 teacher place for every 8 students
- Excursion entrance fees not included
Suggested itinerary for School groups
The Battle of the Somme, which took place between July and November 1916, was one of the largest and fiercest of World War One, with a toll of over 1 million casualties, many of them on the first day of fighting. A school battlefield tour to the Somme area illuminates for students the horrors of war, the tragic human cost of gaining very little territory, as well as the difficult conditions the soldiers lived under for long periods.
Some of the heaviest losses were sustained by the Newfoundland Regiment, and a memorial to the fallen stands in the village of Beaumont-Hamel. A well-preserved trench system can be explored here, giving students a valuable insight into the tiny distances between the Allied and German lines, and an interpretative centre sheds light on what daily life was like for the men in the trenches.
During the opening salvos of the battle, a huge explosion produced a column of earth 4000 feet high, and left behind the massive Lochnagar Crater. There are few better visible reminders of the awesome power of the technology being tested and deployed during the war.
The Somme 1916 Museum in Albert is an excellent stop for history tours, containing many fascinating exhibits including examples of standard trench equipment and weaponry, and several vivid depictions of the realities faced by soldiers, whether in combat, wounded, at rest or just trying to stay alive during the harsh winters.
Some different perspectives on the war are given at the Museum of Great War in Péronne. What was life like for prisoners on both sides, and for children drawn into the conflict? Myriad examples of propaganda, artefacts from military and civilian life, and over fifty specialist films, will all contribute to a well-rounded education on the Somme for students of this turbulent period.
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- Typically £188 per student.Based on a 3 night tour for 35 students, travelling March 2018
- Typically £345 per student.Based on a 3 night tour for 35 students, travelling June 2018
- Typically £298 per student.Based on a 3 night tour for 30 students, travelling January 2018