It is a moving, and enriching experience - one made more vivid if you do it accompanied by a guide someone who will take you across the ground and tell the history and stories of young men faced by the ultimate and cruel challenge of war. It is a tale of courage and comradeship that formed a unique bond that lives on decades after the fighting ended.
Walk with your guide to a bend in a road, the corner of a building, look at a river or rolling hills and you will see places that for months or just minutes became vitally important to men banded together in combat. These are places where faith, courage and commitment were tested in the most extreme way possible and where soldiers, some of whom were mere boys, ended their short lives violently and in pain.
It is humbling.
Visit the Commonwealth War Graves cemeteries and look at the headstones – they bear the name, rank, service number, cap badge and date of death of the soldier. At the foot of the headstone are the personal words of mothers, fathers or wives. Some are carefully chosen – in Latin, in verse, or simply naïve expressions of grief and loss, but through them all comes the raw pride and pain of bereavement – still intense after decades.
We owe these young men the honour of visiting their graves and the land over which they fought for to do so is important as the writer and philosopher George Santayana put it so powerfully. "The one who does not remember history is bound to live through it again”.
Spirit of Remembrance not only remembers history it brings it alive again for veterans, widows and their children and grandchildren and gives them a chance to retrace the footsteps of these brave young men.
To visit these battlegrounds with the Spirit of Remembrance is not to take a tour with a guide who has learned history from a book and is intent on keeping to a tightly scheduled programme. The Spirit of Remembrance guides are themselves veterans of our post-war conflicts – they have known fear, the exhilaration of action and the void of bereavement. For them “casualty” is not a word, it brings back a memory of a friend or comrade killed or wounded in action.
When a tour ends the group breaks up, but often there is still a need to revisit the memories and recapture the experience. Through the unique Spirit of Remembrance website, there is a chance to remain in contact and explore the history and background to the events covered in the tour.
Your Spirit of Remembrance guides have made numerous visits to the battlefields and bring a wealth of knowledge – both historical and practical to a tour which is not some “one size fits all” experience. Each tour is unique - tailored to the needs, physical ability and size of the group. Contact us with your ideas and let our guides and travel professionals create your personal journey - memories which will last a lifetime.
Here are some examples of activities we can arrange:
- Personal tours - any number of people from 1 person
- Group tours - Like minded people, Clubs & association & Military reunions
- Themed tours - Animals in War, Women in War, The resistance at home & abroad, Escapees, SOE, Poetry, Film buffs & much more
- Day tours (ex UK & Europe)
- Fly with a Spitfire, Air tour of Normandy, Excursions from Lille, Paris & Brussels for busy business executives
- Coach tours to airshows and memorable events
- Lectures and then of course there are the new friends you will meet through our website and activities. Here like-minded people of all ages come together to share Remembrance
At Spirit of Remembrance, we are passionate about perpetuating the memory of those through the generations who have and are protecting us let us learn from both history and the events of today.
In order to avoid numerous currency conversions, we have taken the decision to cost all tours in Euro's and for you to have the choice of whether you pay by credit card in Euro's or in your home currency of Australian or Canadian dollars or UK Pounds. Once you have selected a tour please use this conversion table to provide you with the current exchange rate.