The planning for each battlefield tour to the First World War Western Front or the World War Two Normandy invasion battle sites starts with a blank piece of paper. Our first consideration is the requests of our guests. Each guest will have all of his/her specific interests woven into a balanced itinerary.
We then commence our research into the individual or unit whose details are supplied to us. It may be necessary for us to contact a guest and discuss the individual, action or regimental unit of interest, so that we may obtain further information or discuss our findings. This enables us to build a picture and story of the subject of our research. We will obtain information from the National Archives from one or more of the war diaries, medal rolls, soldiers’ and officers’ papers that are held there.
Our researcher Trefor Jones is a master at discovering the information we seek through his own knowledge and his well-crafted ability to cross-refer the information at the National Archives. The searching for that extra piece of information from the public records requires considerable skill and expertise and Trefor has these qualities in abundance. We have our own extensive library of regimental histories, trench maps and historical writings. Sometimes we have the soldier’s individual account of certain events and letters written home.
For Commonwealth soldiers, we can now view their personal papers and obtain war diaries online, at the appropriate national archives.
Gradually we piece together the usually very precise activities of the particular individual or unit in whom we have an interest. We study the battlefield trench maps, identify the ground and locate the cemetery or memorial we shall visit to pay our respects. As a result of our research various pieces of information can come to hand that were hitherto undiscovered.
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. Bill makes it all interesting and ‘live again’ to beginners and old hands alike.
I am writing to tell you that our Battlefields Tour was a very moving and special time. I shall always remember those days on the Battlefields Tour as a very special time.
I would like to thank your entire company and crew for the four day trip of a lifetime to the WWl Battlefields. Everything went like clockwork -- the itinerary, the timing, the hotels and meals, the vehicle. All first class.
I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of the tour. You made it so interesting and met the needs of everyone in the group. The hotels and restaurants were super. Thank you so much for making it so special for me.
Thank you again for a truly spectacular and memorable tour.
All in all an excellent tour. We would have no hesitation in recommending your company and Chris to anyone.
Thank you very much for a magnificent once in a lifetime experience.
It was very apparent all the effort you put into preparing for leading our trip and we both appreciated it very much.