Great Retreat Battlefield Tours - Flanders Footsteps

Great Retreat - Tracing 3 Squadron’s introduction to war in 1914: a five-day/four-night tour

Group:

12 mixed-rank RAF personnel

Aims:

Conduct Staff Ride complying with AP 3379, Leaflet 2415.

Follow 3 Sqn RFC in 1914.

Explore development of Airpower.

Identify lessons for current expeditionary warfare.

Solution:

Research using sqn diaries, RAF Museum records.

Travel with RAF minivans via Eurotunnel.

Each member of group to deliver a stand.

Accommodation in hotels along the Retreat.

Call +44(0) 7733 338659 to speak to your guide.

The itinerary below can be customised to your interests.

  • Day 1

    AM: Cross Channel by Dover-Calais ferry.
    PM:
    Drive to Maubeuge; Stand: Logistics of Expeditionary Warfare.
    EVENING:
    Accommodation: Hotel in Mons.

  • Day 2

    AM: Mons – Stand: Revolutionary Technology and Ops; Le Cateau – Stand – Strains of Coalition Ops.
    PM:
    Compiegne: Evolution of Air/Ground Ops.
    EVENING:
    Accommodation: Hotel in Compiegne.

  • Day 3

    AM: Néry – Stand: Need for swift, accurate, secure comms.
    PM:
    Juilly – Stand: Maintenance of morale in the face of hardship.
    EVENING:
    Accommodation: Hotel in Melun.

  • Day 4

    AM: Bertangles, Richthofen’s grave – Stand: Development and importance of sqn identity.
    PM:
    Drive to the Somme – Stand at Thiepval: The War to End All Wars?EVENING: Accommodation: Hotel in Amiens.

  • DAY 5

    AM: Wavans – Stand: Importance of Leadership; honour ex-Squadron member, James McCudden VC. 
    St Omer – Stand: How RFC coped with heavy losses.

    PM: Drive to Calais; cross channel by ferry.

Costs

I will act as your exclusive guide throughout.  I ask that you cover my travel and accommodation costs and I charge a daily fee, regardless of the number of customers (within reason).  This fee starts at £150 per day, depending on the complexity of the research involved.  In order for you to have as many options as possible, you choose and pay for your own:

  • Transport
  • Accommodation
  • Entrance fees
  • Food and drink


I can provide advice on a range of hotels, B&Bs and restaurants to suit all tastes and budgets.  I am also happy to make all bookings and arrangements.

Transport.  Driving on the Continent is normally a complete pleasure.  You can either travel in your own car(s), or I can arrange for the hire of a minivan and pick you up from the airport, station or port of your choice so you can relax and take in the scenery.

 

Have any Questions?

PREPARING FOR YOUR JOURNEY

REVIEW YOUR PASSPORT

Your passport needs to be valid for at least six (6) months after your journey ends, and should have enough blank visa pages for entry and exit stamps from each country you visit.

MONEY MATTERS

We recommend travelling with some cash and at least two different major credit cards, such as Visa and Mastercard, so you have back up if your card is not accepted or lost. Contact your bank and credit card companies to let them know where and when you’ll be travelling, as well as confirm any foreign transaction fees. When carrying cash, try to travel only with recently issued currency in smaller denominations; many merchants overseas won’t accept wrinkled or torn bills. Only exchange currency at authorised outlets such as currency exchanges, ATMs or hotels and save receipts as they may be required for exit.

KEEP CONNECTED

While most smartphones work overseas, you might need to turn on international roaming service before you travel. Contact your carrier for information on coverage and voice and data plan options while travelling abroad.

GETTING ONLINE

Many hotels and public places have Wi-Fi and you’ll usually be able to stay connected throughout your journey.

CHARGING YOUR GADGETS

Be sure to bring a global travel adapter set with you to recharge your electronics at your hotel.

PACKING FOR YOUR JOURNEY

Consult the Packing List and Baggage Restrictions specifics provided.  Ensure all bags have luggage tags.

STAY HEALTHY ON THE ROAD

Carry your prescriptions and over-the-counter medications in their original containers in your carry-on luggage. Pack a simple first-aid kit along with medicines for motion sickness and mild upset stomach. 

KEEP VALUABLES SECURE

We strongly recommend leaving valuables such as jewelry at home as Flanders Footsteps cannot be responsible. Replacing a lost or stolen passport is much easier if you have a copy on hand. Pack a photocopy of your passport’s personal information page with your luggage, and keep a photo of it on your smartphone.

PHOTOGRAPHY ETIQUETTE

Photography is not permitted in some locations, which are usually clearly marked. If in doubt, ask your guide.