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Charlton Life trip to Ypres & Passchendaele

When in Belgium a couple of weeks ago on the Unity Protest I was fortunate to spend the Sunday visiting First World War sites around Ypres with other fans, many of them Lifers. We were guided by Clive Harris, himself a Lifer, who whilst a Charlton fan is also a published Military Historian who owns a business running trips to the WW1 battlefields in France and Belgium. We visited the Menin Gate in Ypres, Plug Street (where British forces played football against the Germans on Christmas Day 2014) and finally Nobby Nightingale's grave. The day had a profound effect on me and I decided then that I wanted to return to visit more sites and better educate myself as to the events of WW1 and especially those around Ypres and Passchendaele..

I then hit upon an idea of a Charlton Life trip to the battlefields and approached Clive about it. He agreed to be our guide for the trip and we are currently putting together the figures for an overnight trip. We are looking to put on the trip for either Friday 14th/Saturday 15th July or Saturday 15th/Sunday 16th July. The cost will include coach fare, Eurotunnel or Ferry costs and accommodation costs. Clive very kindly waived his usual fee for the trip but suggested a contribution to charity so there will be included in the cost a £10 'donation' which will be split equally between the CAFC Museum and the Charlton Upbeats, two very worthy causes.

Clive will work on an itinerary for the trip but it will be fluid as it's hard to determine exactly how long we will spend at the sites visited, what the weather will be like, traffic problems etc but we will have time to visit numerous sites which will include among others Nobby Nightingale's grave, Tyne Cot Cemetery and the Menin Gate at Ypres. We plan to visit the Menin Gate in early evening so as to take in the ceremony held daily at 8pm where we can hopefully lay a wreath on behalf of all supporters of Charlton Athletic Football Club and hear the Last Post played as a tribute to those commemorated at the Menin Gate.

The object of this initial thread is to gauge the interest from you all so I would urge anyone interested to say so here or send me a PM. Hopefully by next weekend we will be able to put out something a bit more substantial.

Thanks for reading,

Neal
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Comments

  • Definitely interested
  • se9addick said:

    Definitely interested

    Me too
  • I had the honour 4 years ago of dipping the Legion standard at Ypres, would be interested if it were the Friday/Saturday dates.
  • Was on your coach Large and similarly would like to go back. Definitely interested.
  • For the balanced view, get Clive to take you to Langemark cemetery
  • Great idea. Yes please.
  • Yes please
  • Sounds great. Yes please.
  • 15/16 is best for me
  • Interested over here
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  • edited March 2017
    Great idea. I'm in Arras this weekend and we stopped off at Vimy Ridge yesterday. There's a lot going on in readiness for the 100th Anniversary of the battle next month. A group of Canadians on our tour of the tunnels had been responsible for shipping over some WW1 planes for the planned flyover.
  • Addickted said:

    For the balanced view, get Clive to take you to Langemark cemetery

    But leave before closing time or you'll have to climb out like we did.

    Clive is an excellent guide who gets the balance between military history and human experience just right.

    I think i might be away in July but otherwise put me down.
  • Very keen on joining the trip
  • Very interested.
  • Great idea. I am interested.
  • Definately up for this but can't do July. Maybe two visits? Clive''s diary looks hectic on his website
  • Definately up for this but can't do July. Maybe two visits? Clive''s diary looks hectic on his website

    I'm sure if there is enough interest we will look to do another trip another time.

  • Definitely interested - my maternal grandfather was at Plug Street, which he described to my mother as one of the worst places he experienced, and one of my father's uncles is commemorated at Tyne Cot.
  • Mr Tatters (Nick) is a definite.
  • Interested in the Sat/Sunday.
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  • Yes indeed
  • Definitely interested
  • Addickted said:

    For the balanced view, get Clive to take you to Langemark cemetery

    Went there back in the 90's. People tend to forget that the Germans lost a generation of youngsters too.
  • We would definately be up for another visit. This was our first experience of visiting WW1 sites and found it memorable. If only my school history teacher had made the subject so interesting and relevant, I might have actually enjoyed history at school.
  • Definitely interested but may not be able to make that weekend due to work. Will keep an eye on this.
  • Yes me and possibly 1 or 2 others.
  • My Dad is 80 this year. We are taking the opportunity, as my kid brother is down from Scotland, for us (Dad and three sons) to do a day trip to visit his grandfather's grave. He has never been and is quite sure his own dad never went during his lifetime (Fred was only 3 when his Dad died 24th June 1915).

    I just feel the time is right to pay Cpl Frederick J Crew of the West Kents a visit. Dad is poorly, it is a long day trip but there will be four grown men standing by the grave of someone they never knew but to who they owe everything, their very existance.

    So we are off to Vormezeele on the 6th of April.

    My Grandad was, I believe, also in the West Kents, but not until 1916 when he joined up at 16, so he wouldn't have known your great-grandfather. His experiences out there had a profound effect on the rest of his life, but at least he came home. I'm sorry you never got to know the man without whom, as you say, you wouldn't be here.
  • and put me down as a possible.
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