The McLennan Legion Branch 153 “Guided Canadian Battle Fields Tour” of northern Europe is scheduled to take place from April 26, 2019 to May 11, 2019.
The 16-day trip, organized by Francis Lessard, includes roundtrip flight, hotel accommodation, breakfast and dinner and a 14-day tour to major European cities and capitals including London, Amsterdam, Brussels, Paris and Munich.
Some of the many World War II sites and related places of interest on the itinerary are Vimy Ridge, Pourville, Bretteville-Sur-Laize Canadian Military Cemetery, Verriers Ridge, Operation Tractable, Hill 117 and St. Lambert.
In Flanders Fields Museum, St. Julien Canadian Memorial, Passchendaele Canadian Memorial Park and attending the Last Post Ceremony at Menin Gate are also listed.
In Normandy, Juno Beach Centre, Arromanches Museum, Beny-sur-Mer Canadian War Cemetery and Batterie de Merville are on the itinerary.
The tour begins in London with visits to Natural History Museum, Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey, Tower Bridge, Hyde Park, St. Paul’s Cathedral and the Cabinet War Rooms.
The London stay also includes a theatre performance in London’s renowned West End theatre district.
The tour travels by train from London to Amsterdam where visits are scheduled to the Royal Palace, Rembrandtplein, National Monument, and the Anne Frank House.
The tour then travels to Brussels to visit Bergen-Op-Zoom Canadian War Cemetery, Wuustwezel Churchyard and Breendonk Concentration Camp.
In Paris, visits École Militair, an extensive, multifaceted military training complex founded in 1750, the Ivalides, which is also the site of the tomb of Napoleon Bonaparte, and the Conciergerie that served as a prison during the French Revolution.
The group’s time in Paris is also recreational and cultural with taking in such landmarks as the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe, Champs-Élysées, Tuileries, Place Vendôme, Champ de Mars and the Opera House.
The tour concludes in Munich with a guided sightseeing tour of Residenz/Nymphenburg Palace Gardens, Alte Pinakothek, Deutsches Museum, BMW Headquarters, 1972 Olympic Site, Frauenkirche, Neues Rathaus, Marienplatz Glockenspiel, and dinner at the historic Hofbräuhaus beer hall, dating back to 1589.
This Battlefield tour is strongly recommended by Royal Canadian Legion #37, High Prairie President, Don Ebbett. In a letter on official Legion letterhead dated June 4, Mr. Ebbett expressed his support of the tour:
On behalf of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch #37 High Prairie, I would recommend participation in the Battlefield Tour being organized by Mr. Francis Lessard.
The planned sites to be visited are a very important part of Canadian Military history. The 100th Anniversary ending the First World War is this November. The Battlefields and the beautifully maintained cemeteries in which the 66,573 soldiers killed are on the visit list.
You will be seeing many familiar sites from the Second World War from Dieppe to Dunkirk to Juno Beach. Many of the 44,927 dead lie in cemeteries in Belgium and Holland, also on the visit list.
Every Canadian should at one time in their life participate in a tour of this caliber. The sacrifice of those killed and wounded should never be forgotten.
To see a schedule and full itinerary of the tour along with other pertinent information visit the webpage Mr. Lessard’s Canadian Battlefields at www.explorica.ca/Lessard-9337.
The organizer of the Battlefields Tour, Francis Lessard has organized similar tours before and is familiar with the sites and cities on the tour itinerary. He can be reached at 780-536-6672.