Recently, I saw this shared image on Twitter for the first time.. As we get ready for the Return to Vimy Tour, the photo is a reminder of the utter devastation of the town of Thelus. The picture depicts the unveiling of the Artillery Memorial in the village of Thelus in February 1918, while the war was still nine months from ending. It was the second monument built on the ridge by Canadians. Thelus was submitted to particulary intense bombardment by heavy artillery in the period leading up to the attack on the 9th of April. Lt-Gen Sir Arthur Currie is shown about to remove the Red Ensign to unveil the plaques on the monument in front of assembled senior gunners from the Canadian corps. The monument stands today as it did in 1918 in the center of Thelus which has now been rebuilt around it. The town of Thelus, in cooperation with Fields of Fire Tours, will host the gunners once again on the 8th of April, 2017 in a service of commemoration with villagers, school children, and representatives of the Royal Artillery and South African Artillery, which also supported the corps at Vimy.
Military history is everywhere for me now that I travel with Dave. On our way to our closest corner store in Dunedin, Florida, Dave stopped halfway across a pedestrian crossing to read a Historical Society of Dunedin's plaque, commemorating a little known event in the town's local history. The Tracked Landing Vehicle was designed and manufactured in Dunedin in the late 1930s. Named the Alligator, a prototype was tested on a beach just up the road from where we spend our Florida vacations. A quick search for images and information about this history adds even more colour to our knowledge of our favourite winter refuge. The link below will reveal this interesting Second World War story.
With only 120 days left before Fields of Fire Tour's group departs on the return to Vimy tour, our newletter is ready. The tour logistics are all settled and we have a seasoned and professional team ready to guide the Vimy 100 centenary tour. The demand for this tour was overwhelming and so our group is 200 travellers strong; four buses will carry us through each day's destinations - one group visiting a site at a time. There are several ceremonies on this tour's itinerary. Having only heard of the daily ceremony that is held at the Menim Gate, every day since 1926 - I personally look forward to the Last Post ceremony there. Of course, being included at Vimy on April the 9th, 2017 will be the highlight at the end of this once in a lifetime event, with 200 gunners, signallers and their travelling companions.