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Everywhere, where honour and glory led!


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The Somme Centenary 23-26 June 2016 

(Four days three nights)

The centenary of the battle of the Somme, which took place between June-and November 1916, has a special significance in Gunner history. This was the largest battle fought by the British army, costing 400,000 casualties. While public interest in the battle centres on the infantry who went 'over the top' on the first of July, the Gunner battle started a week earlier with the opening bombardment by the largest number of guns assembled.

The Somme was essentially an artillery battle, with the guns the only weapons capable of clearing wire, destroying and neutralising defences and artillery. This was an awesome responsibility, and the success or failure of the infantry was down to the effectiveness of the fire plan. The story of how the Royal Artillery learned during the campaign is one of successful innovation, and a matter of pride to Gunners.

It is also a human story. We will see where Gunner staff work made a difference; where Gunners went over the top with the infantry and where . Gunners worked to the point of exhaustion in the service of the guns.

This tour will tell this story at the places where this largest artillery battle took place 100 years after the opening barrage was fired.

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Friday 23 June 2016 Travel to France. Briefing en route by your guide.

Saturday 24 June 2016 the First Day of the Somme

Visit the main sites of the preliminary bombardment and the opening day of the battle. We will look at how effective the fire-plan was and at some of the gun positions The tour will include the following :-

  • We visit the preserved battlefield of Beaumont Hamel and the Hawthorne Crater where B Battery RHA sent an OP party over the top on the first day.

  • We explore the gun and observation positions used by the Gunners

  • We follow the story of the fire-plan on the first day of the Somme. We see where it failed, and where it worked, and why.

  • Where the predecessors of the modern regular and reserve batteries and regiments fought.

  • A moment of reflection on the centenary of the first shots of the opening barrage.

Sunday 25 June 2016. 143 days on the Somme 

We see how the British and French developed their use of artillery.

  • How the tactics developed 
  • How the gunners worked with aircraft tanks and cavalry 
  • We will look at how casualties were treated
  • We will follow the story of the gunners through the campaign; stories of staff officers, commanders, gunners and drivers, heroism,tragedy and even comedy.

Monday 26 June Act of Remembrance and Return to the UK

Personal Visits

If time permits it may be possible to allow for a visit to visit a specific grave or memorial.


Accommodation: Based on a two star hotel in the Arras area.



The tour will be accompanied by an expert guide, military historian Frank Baldwin. He is a retired gunner and is currently writing a book on the artillery on the First day of the Somme.  He is a member of the Guild of Battlefield Guides and has been guiding battlefield tours and Staff Rides to the Western Front for over fifteen years.

CGT Battlefield Tours 

Museum entrances extra.

Continental breakfast included

The tour is being operated by CGT Battlefield tours. Ltd 

To book your place complete the booking form: which you can download from here:

Or request a form by Telephone: 01454 269764 or email:

For further information contact

CGT Battlefield Tours Ltd’s terms and conditions are here.

In order to provide clients with complete peace of mind, CGT Battlefields Ltd is a member of Protected Travel Services – Membership No: CG 5070. Your money is held in a trust account and is used for the purpose of fulfilling your booking. Any money you pay will go into the Protected Travel Services client account at HSBC. The money stays in the account until you’ve returned from your tour.

If you’d like to find out more about Protected Travel Services, please visit their website


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£469 per person based on two people sharing. 

Single supplement   £150  

 Deposit £200

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How to Book 

To book your place complete the booking form: which you can download from here:

Or request a form by Telephone: 01454 269764 or email: