The group included the
following: George Duke, Andrew & Caroline
Coleman, Barry Ellis, Peggy Ellis, Marion Gandy,
Eta Quinn, Jerry Holland, Billy Good, Clive
Good, Con Ahern, Pat Wilmot, Pat Quinlan,
Margaret Desmond, Mary Barry, Noreen Crowley,
Jerry Crowley, Albert Duke, Ann Madden, Philip
McCarthy, Ian & Elizabeth Beamish, Edward
& Elizabeth Harris, Leo McMahon, John &
Nora Whittaker, and Georgina Crowley.
The tour was excellently
organised by Flanders Tours for which retired
Col. Graham Parker O.B.E. and Andy Tonge acted
as tour guides, with Dave Slater of Kings Ferry
in charge of coach travel.
Over the next few days visits
were made to various battle sites and memorials
from Passhendale to Messines Ridge, Rue du Bois
where a group photograph was taken, to the
Somme—Thiepval ,Guillemont and Guinchy. Group
wreaths were laid at Rue du Bois, Thiepval,
Guillemont and Locher at the grave of Major
Willie Redmond. Individual visited the graves of
loved ones where prayers were said and wreaths
The 8 o’clock evening
ceremony at the Menen
Gate had a special welcome for the group
with a wreath being laid by the youngest member
of the tour group.
A visit to the Lochhagar
Crater, the largest man-made in the world, was
of eminence interest .It was created by
detonating 95,000 tons of explosives. The dept
of the crater is 130 feet with 1,000 soldiers
buried in the chalk clay at the bottom.
The group had brought with it a
beautiful crafted mahogany Celtic Cross which is
now erected at the southern end of the park,
this was formally handed over by the committee
chairman Andrew Coleman to Tony Crowe a trustee
of the park project.
a few weeks before our visit near Artillery
Cemetery a memorial was unveiled to the poet
Francis Ledwidge to which the group paid a visit
where a tour member recited one of his poems.
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