Our January speaker and leader of Dorking U3A’s Military History group Barrie Friend is planning a special two-day tour of the battlefield sites relevant to the stories of the Dorking soldiers he described in his talk. He writes:
‘Should members wish to take the subject further, I have put together a two-day tour of the Somme battlefields to visit the sites of action mentioned in my talk and to place these in the overall context of the Battle of the Somme. I have been visiting and guiding the area for some 20 years, so I can offer a memorable two days.
‘The tour is planned for Saturday and Sunday, 9-10 September, travelling via luxury coach from the Dorking area and staying in a three-star hotel in Arras with continental breakfast. Arras is a charming town with many restaurants around the two large squares, which were reconstructed in the original style after the Great War.
‘We plan to visit sites of action where Dorking men fought and fell and learn the story of what really happened. We will visit other sites of action to help with context; pay respects to Dorking men in their cemeteries; and lay a group wreath at Thiepval Memorial, on which are recorded the names of the 44 Dorking men with no known grave. I will provide maps and notes and act as a full-time guide.
‘The cost is £189 per person occupying a twin en suite hotel room, with lunches and evening meals extra. There is a single supplement of £37. Health insurance is strongly recommended.
‘Because of the low price a minimum number of 20 travellers is required before the tour becomes viable. Booking closes on 30 March.’