GENERAL INFORMATION


On this page are listed the names and addresses of companies, organisations, etc. which I think readers may find useful if they should wish to visit the Western Front or to go into its history in greater detail.


Readers are asked to note that wherever text is in italics, then it is either a transcript or a summary of data which has been sent to me. If in doubt about information given, please get in touch directly with the people concerned. All information set down here is given in good faith by me.


To go to one of the various categories, click below:


TOURIST OFFICES

There are several towns in The Western Front area which are often used as bases for touring. The addresses of these are given under the appropriate locations:

BELGIUM:

Poperinge is a pleasant town about eight miles west of Ypres. During the Great War all soldiers on their way to Ypres and the battlefield beyond passed through it. Today, it is the home of Toc H.

Ypres was almost totally destroyed by the end of the War. Afterwards it was rebuilt and now looks very similar to its pre-1914 days. The town makes an ideal starting place from which to visit the notorious Salient; while within its old walls, St. George's Church, the Cloth Hall, The Menin Memorial, and the ramparts are all essential places to visit.

Poperinge:
Tourist Office
Stadhuis
Markt 1
8970 Poperinge
Tel: 0032 057 33 40 81
Fax: 0032 057 33 75 81

Ypres:
Tourist Office
Stadhuis
Grote Markt 34
8900 Ieper
Belgium
Tel: 0032 057 20 07 24
Fax: 0032 057 21 85 89

The main tourist office for the country are at:

For a complete list of Belgium Tourist Offices Click here

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FRANCE:

In France there are at least four towns well situated for visits into and around the old battlefield areas. These: Albert, Amiens, Arras, and Cambrai; and the address of each respective Office de Tourisme is:

4 rue Gambetta
80300 Albert
Tel: 0033 22 75 16 42
Fax: 0033 22 75 11 72

12 rue du Chateau de Violettes
80010 Amiens
Tel: 0033 22 91 79 28
Fax: 0033 22 92 50 58

Hotel de Ville
62000 Arras
Tel: 0033 21 51 26 95
Fax: 0033 21 71 07 34

48 rue de Noyon
59400 Cambrai
Tel: 0033 27 78 36 15
Fax: 0033 27 74 82 82

For a listing of tourist facilities in Picardy CLICK HERE


ASSOCIATIONS

Several societies are involved with the memory of the Great War. Among them are: The Great War Society, The Western Front Association,The Gallipoli Association, The Somme Association,The Gallipoli Association, and Friends of St. George's Memorial Church


THE GREAT WAR SOCIETY

Based in the United States, this Society has a modern outlook on all matters concerning the Great War. It was founded by a group of scholars at the Hoover Institute of War, Peace, and Revolution, who subscribe to the belief that the First World War changed the course of 20th Century history, and every minor event - the rise of communism, fascism, the great depression, World War 2, the communisation of China, the Korean and Vietnamese wars, and the Middle-east crises - had it genesis in the Great War.

Members each receive the quarterly edition of the Society's magazine, "Relevance" - an excellently produced and attractive publication containing many very well-researched articles.

Click here to go to The Great War Society Web Page

Readers interested in joining should contact Mike Hanlon, the Society's Membership Chairman

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THE WESTERN FRONT ASSOCIATION

The Western Front Association was formed with the aim of furthering interest in the period 1914-1918 to perpetuate the memory, courage and comradeship of those of both sides who served their countries in France and Flanders and their own countries during the Great War. It does not seek to glorify war, it is not a re-enactment society nor is it commercially motivated. It is entirely non-political and application for membership will be welcomed from any more with like mind.

The strength of this very traditional organization lies in its branches of which there are about forty located in all parts of the British Isles. As well as this, there are others in: BAOR, France, Germany, Luxembourg, the United States, Canada, and Australia.

Its main publication is "Stand-To!" which is produced three times per year.

Click here to go to The Western Front Association Web Site

For further information contact Paul Hanson

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THE SOMME ASSOCIATION

The Somme Association, based in Northern Ireland, concerns itself mainly with the history of the Irish Divisions - and especially, the 36th (Ulster) - during the Great War. The Association's address is:

The Somme Association Ltd
Craigavon House
Circular Road
BELFAST 4
N. Ireland
Tel: 01232 761600

Within the past few years the Association has built the SOMME HERITAGE CENTRE at:

233 Bangor Road
Newtownards
Co. Down
BT23 9PH
Tel: 01247 823202

The Centre commemorates Ireland's part in the Battle of the Somme in 1916. The centre operates on a guided tour basis and uses displays and reconstructed trenches with an audio-visual re-creation of the Battle. A feature of the experience is role-playing staff in military dress.

Click here to go to the Somme Association's Web site

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FRIENDS OF St. GEORGE'S MEMORIAL CHURCH

St. George's, built as a memorial to all who died in the Salient, stands in the middle of Ypres. It was designed by Sir Reginald Blomfield and built during 1928-29 as part of the British settlement.

It was thought that the church could be used as a place of worship for the British colony (which was quite large in Belgium during the post-war years), and the use of pilgrims to the Salient. The site also included the Eton Memorial School for the children of the gardeners and other officials working in the region, and the community centre for them.

Today, the church and the British Legion clubhouse next door are all that remain of the settlement. The school closed after the Second World War and the community buildings were sold.

Almost every item contained within its precincts acts a memorial. The windows, the furnishings, and the decorations all commemorate a unit or an individual.

Services are held regularly every Sunday by the chaplain in attendance - the Revd. A. Brannigan.

(During my term in office as chairman/secretary of the Ulster Branch of the Western Front Association, it was my privilege to arrange for a memorial plaque to the 36th (Ulster) Division to be placed on one of the rear walls of St. George's. The plaque, which bore the inscription,

IN PROUD MEMORY OF
ALL THOSE WHO SERVED WITH THE
36th (ULSTER) DIVISION
IN THE YPRES SALIENT
DURING THE GREAT WAR

was dedicated at a service held in the church on 6th July, 1994)

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The annual membership fee to become a "Friend" is £3 for individuals, and £5 for corporate bodies. Anyone interested should contact:

The Honorary Secretary,
The Friends of St. George's Memorial Church, Ypres,
41 Winstanley Road,
Sheerness,
Kent,
England ME12 2PW

Click here to go to The Friends of St George's Web Site

"The Friends" e-mail address is: albur@dial.pipex.com


TOUR OPERATORS

Below is a list containing the names and addresses of a number of companies who run tours to various locations on the Western Front. For further information, readers should get in touch with them directly.

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BATTLEFIELD & PILGRIMAGE TOURS:

Mr Ian C. Alexander
The War Research Society
27 Courtway Avenue
Maypole
BIRMINGHAM B14 4PP
Tel: 0121 430 5348
Fax: 0121 436 7401

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BATTLEFIELD TRIPS:

Mr Peter Franks
82 Delves Green Road
Walsall
ENGLAND WS5 4LP
Tel: 01922 642805

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FLANDERS TOURS:

PO Box 1418,
Wilton,
Salisbury SP2 0ZY
Tel. & fax 01722-744 898

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GALINA INTERNATIONAL BATTLEFIELD TOURS:


711 Beverley High Road
Hull
England HU6 7JN
Tel: 01482 804409
Fax: 01482 809717

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Martin Middlebrook's Battlefield Tours:

48 Linden Way
Boston
Lincolnshire
PE21 9DS

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Somme Battlefield Tours:

Somme Battlefield Tours Ltd.
19 Old Road
Wimborne
Dorset BH21 1EJ
ENGLAND
Tel/Fax: 01202 840520
Internet address: Somme Battlefield Tours


SPECIAL NOTE

From time-to-time some of the above information will occasionally change unknown to me. I should be grateful if readers who come across any such changes would let me know of them at:
karl.murray@tibus.com


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