Just to let you know that we both thoroughly enjoyed our recent tour of the Western Front with Bartletts Battlefield Journeys. We were very pleased with the guidance given by John Lee. He couldn’t have done more to make our trip better. His knowledge, enthusiasm and flexibility enabled us to learn so much about WW1 and the Western Front. We were able to visit all the places we hoped to see, and more. In particular, our trips to the Regina Cemetery, Mouquet Farm and Aubigny Cemetery were particularly memorable. John took the trouble to ensure we understood how particular battles related to our ancestor’s battalions and their possible role in the engagements. We found this aspect most rewarding. We would have no hesitation in recommending the services of your company to anyone with similar interests in touring the battlefields of the Western Front.
We have now re-established normality after the trip. All arrangements went very well, and I know form the comments everyone was satisfied. With our people it helps if the hotel and restaurants are of a high standard and they were. Of the 3 restaurants, Kolleboeme was good, but Den Anker and Pacific Eiland both received top marks both in food and the ability to cope with some last minute choices changes. Of course we must not forget your team - Bill and Steve were excellent, and the coach had plenty of room for those oldies who got tired at day end, especially after Friday - an early start and much to squeeze into the time. As I advised some of the members were worried that the venues and events would be depressing, and I think some did not attend for that reason. This may be true if one goes around without a guide, but with one who can provide background information, the trip is enhanced. Steve coped well with the driving, and Bill demonstrated his immense depth of knowledge which made the trip such a pleasure, especially as he was British (I have been on similar tours with local guides, who lack some adequate knowledge and their accent prevents full comprehension). I think we achieved a balanced tour in view of the subject and time available. With Bill's knowledge and information all the participants gained a greater insight into events 100 years ago.
Enzo and I'd like to thank you again for putting together our fantastic tour, Somme 100. Everything went superbly and Bill was in terrific form! Sadly it ended way too quickly. Enzo and I've extended our time here by a few days and are at Beatus. We saw Vimy yesterday and we will go to Bullecourt today - Enzo's not been there and the museum is great isn't it?
We have had a wonderful time over the past week, the trip fulfilled every thing we could have wished for, accommodation was superb and the food excellent.. but most importantly the knowledge of Bill backed up by John made the trip so very informative and interesting. Whilst we know John was there to learn from Bill, we both feel it will not be long before he is up to speed and heading off to Normandy as an excellent tour guide, he has a lovely manner and is a true gentleman. We appreciate all the kind help from the team at Bartletts Battlefield Journeys and we may well look to join you in the future on another journey to the battlefields.
I just wanted to drop you a line to say how much Suzy and I enjoyed our recent trip, Bill was very knowledgeable, as expected, and the other guests were a delight to spend the time with. Bill gave us a wonderful explanation of the Fricourt topography and helped us to make a little more sense of the whole affair. The experience of being at Carnoy cemetery and hearing the maroons go off at 7.28 at the Lochnagar crater was amazing, followed by the whistles being blown by a party of kilted Scots who then led the silence, it was a feeling never to be repeated. We got back just in time to attend the ceremony at the Menin Gate and Suzy had an unbelievable experience, she was overjoyed when she realised that one of the standards was from the Sherwood Foresters (she lost four boys in the Notts & Derbys & her father served with them too) but she was totally overcome with emotion when it turned out that the band on parade was the Robin Hood Rifles Corps of Drums and they played ‘Robin Hood’ as they entered the gate! Despite spending less time on the Somme than we expected, we had a great time and were it not for the stop in Ypres, Suzy would not have had her fantastic experience with the Robin Hoods so all worked out well in the end!
Can I say a large thank you for the Western Front tour that I have just completed with John Lee. Whilst I am experienced battlefield traveller having travelled with Holts some twenty times, I was somewhat apprehensive about travelling with a company that was new to me. I need not have worried as John put me at ease immediately, the quality of the research was excellent and visiting the area where George Linham was, was exceptional. I am sure that I will be back next year for another experience. Thank you again
We thought we ought to let you know how much we enjoyed our German trip. Both flights were good and well organised - both Keith and I were very happy with our treatment. Both Ramada hotels were clean and efficient. Bill was his usual efficient self and VERY impressed with the Wunderland at Hamburg. We had a bit more time in Berlin to get to know the place. All very good.
I wanted to write you a quick note to say that we had a great trip and express my thanks. We had a very enjoyable few days with Bill. It is not only that he is extremely knowledgeable, but also that he delivers it in a very interesting way and brings the history to life.
I have just arrived back in Toronto. I would like to thank your entire company and crew for the four day trip of a lifetime to the WW1 Battlefields, 23 October to 26 October. Everything went like clockwork - the itinerary, the timing, the hotels and meals, the vehicle. All first class. Special thanks to John Lee, after only a few hours he became more like a friend than anything else. Regards to all. Will recommend to others in the future.
I am writing to tell you that our Battlefields Tour was a very moving and special time. We appreciated all the information that Bill shared with us about Battles of the First World War, the Cemeteries and Memorials. He knows so much about WW1. The hotels were very comfortable and the meals were delicious. I was so pleased to find and photograph the names of 40 of our Soldiers at Memorials and 5 graves. I have added the grave photographs to my Research and cropped the panel photos and enlarged the names to add them to my Research. It was wonderful to see 45 of 'our names' from our Parish in Boyne Hill, Maidenhead. They may not have had other visitors from the Parish to remember them there before. I have been thinking lots about our very special Tour of the Battlefields, Cemeteries and Memorials in preparing for my WW1 Talk, which was yesterday evening. My Talk was about 'The Stories of some of the Fallen from the Parish of All Saints Boyne Hill' in the 1st World War. I talked about 16 who were in the Army, 3 in the Navy and one in the RAF at the end of WW1. I illustrated my Talk with a 'power point' presentation of photographs of soldiers, graves, panel names, Cemeteries and Memorials. Members of the families of two of the Soldiers whose graves we visited were at the Talk. It was a moving evening and I was so glad to share what I have discovered about the Fallen so 'we will remember them'. I recommended your Battlefields Tours to some people yesterday evening! Please tell Bill that I thank him for his help in finding names on Panels and for being so pleased when I found more of 'our names'. I shall always remember those days on the Battlefields Tour as a very special time. The Communion Service at the Cambrai Memorial at Louverval was so wonderful too, when my husband Fr Neil celebrated Mass there. I will attach photographs of that for you to see. With thanks and best wishes
I am writing to say how much I enjoyed this journey. Our leader Bill McQuade could not have done more to make this the success it was – for all 5 travellers. I attach a letter for you to forward to him. Bill makes it all interesting and ‘live again’ to beginners and old hands alike. Thanks for the travel arrangements which were very comfortable & safe. Thanks for the 2 hotels and the restaurants & cafés. I think the ‘all inclusive’ factor is splendid. The food was all too superb! I felt privileged to be with Tony and June, it was great to share June’s wreath laying & Tony’s Irish regiments’ event – 2nd hand. I was interested in Elizabeth’s war memorial project and we all were grateful for Neil’s Communion Service on Sunday morning. What wonderful experiences I had, which I shall remember always. Thanks for the extra sheets Bill provided. I shall now have to write a draft 3 of ‘Grandfather’s War’ chapter and also take on the information on Henry [William Henry Blake killed 1918]. But it will mean so much more to me now. I shall certainly recommend your company to all I meet.
Last week was a bit of a struggle to settle back into the usual routines and so far, this week seems to be getting off to a stronger start. It was very apparent all the effort you put into preparing for leading our trip and we both appreciated it very much. It was obvious that you had taken a great deal of care to prepare for the journey of my grandfather to research his records and identify the actual spots where he would have been. You commented on the hops building as the "new" discovery, but for me, all of it was discovery, from the moat farm to the asylum. And then, outside of battlefield preparation, the cycle routes were all great choices to cover many WWI sites and keep us off of busy roads. This level of care couldn't have been done without a lot of time and effort. And there was lots you did during our tour as well. You were most patient with us when we were slow to start in the morning and were prone to getting lost en route. And I must add, how gracious you were about switching rooms. All round, it was a discovery and a joy. Thank you very much and please keep in touch.
We would like to express our appreciation of the total commitment made by yourself making our tour so very informative and memorable. We were lucky on three fronts; the weather, the company and most importantly, the guide! Our guide's attitude and sense of humour combined with his knowledge really did make this a most worthwhile trip. I will have no hesitation in recommending your company to any interested persons. Again, we thank you most sincerely.
David, I wanted to let you know how pleased all members of the Dickson clan were with the tour just completed. Chris did an excellent job for us and received very high ratings from everyone including the six year old. I knew it was going to go well from the first minute of meeting with Chris in Rouen. The fact he had named books for each traveller and kid friendly books for the younger kids was an excellent start but he then capped that by naming each of the kids - you must be Ethan, you must be Royce etc etc - and getting them right. The van worked very well. It easily and comfortably accommodated us and our luggage. All in all an excellent tour. We would have no hesitation in recommending your company and Chris to anyone. Thanks again to you both.
This is a thank you for the trip Bill McQuade and your company scheduled for us. Bill was an excellent guide. His knowledge of the battlefields as well as the overall campaigns made the trip informative without overwhelming us. He answered our questions. He made adjustments when the Tour de France blocked our preferred route, and we got to see the race for about 10 seconds as the riders sped past. The accommodations fitted exactly what we wanted, but the Hotel Ariane in Ieper was the best. My wife and sister were reluctant initially to do a battlefield tour like this, but both expressed to me how wonderful and illuminating it had been; Bill was one of the main reasons for that. The Premier Inn Central on the Marine Parade where you had scheduled us was great for picking up our car for the rest of our England trip. Bill made the trip, though, everything I had hoped when I scheduled it. He was wonderful. Thanks again for making our trip was so worthwhile
Sheila and I have just returned home from 5 superb days in France and Belgium. Everything was excellent. Bill, our guide and driver, was so knowledgeable. Nothing was too much trouble and we received a great overview of the Battle of The Somme and the Ypres Salient. Bill was also able to take us to where Sheila's 2 uncles were killed, skilfully building a picture of their service record and where they fell in battle. Placing wreaths at the cemetery at Vermelles and at Thiepval was very moving and meant an awful lot to both of us. In fact, at the start of the 99th Anniversary Ceremony at Thiepval on July 1st the wreath was still there from the day before on the commemoration stone. Our grateful thanks to your team for organising everything for us and especially to Bill for making sure we were in the right place at the right time. His knowledge of people and places is amazing. Thankfully the Channel problems did not delay us in any way and we do hope that solutions are found so that you will be able to give other customers the same service that we received.
We made it home after a few airport closures due to storms near our home in Denver. Thank you again for a truly spectacular and memorable tour. We will be back in touch. Thank you!