Pals on the Somme

The Pals Battalions were a WW1 phenomenon; men who joined up together and fought together on the Somme. We study the Somme and their story in depth.

Duration
2 Day
Key Stage
KS 3, 4, 5
Guides
1-2

Overview

This tour focuses on the ‘Pals’ Battalions raised across Britain in 1914. It was said of them that they were “Two years in the making, ten minutes in the destruction”. During this two-day tour, we travel to their anvil of sacrifice in 1916 – the haunting Somme battlefields in Northern France.

Study Themes and Curricular Links

  • KS3 National Curriculum – The First World War and the Peace Settlement

  • OCR GCSE Syllabus – War and British Society 1790-2010

  • OCR GCSE Syllabus – Depth Study – Britain in Peace and War 1900-1918

  • EdExcel GCSE Syllabus – Thematic Study and Historic Environment – Medicine in Britain and the British Sector of the Western Front 1914-1918: Injuries, Treatment and the Trenches

  • EdExcel A-Level Syllabus – Themes in Breadth with Aspects in Depth – The British Experience of Warfare, c1790-1918

  • EdExcel A-Level Syllabus – Themes in Breadth with Aspects of Depth – The Changing Nature of Warfare, 1859-1991

  • OCR A-Level Syllabus – British Period Study – Britain 1900-1951

  • OCR A-Level Syllabus – Thematic Study and Historical Interpretation – The Changing Nature of Warfare, 1792-1945

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Tour Includes


  • Specialist Battlefield Guide. For larger groups we have two guides per booking.

  • Entrance to all museums and trenches.

  • 1 breakfast, 1 lunch and 1 dinner.

  • Travel by coach from your school.

  • Channel crossings.


From £169 per student

Enquire Now

We offer flexible payment options

Sample Itinerary - 2-Day Tour

This tour focuses on the ‘Pals’ Battalions raised across Britain in 1914. It was said of them that they were “Two years in the making, ten minutes in the destruction”. We travel to their anvil of sacrifice in 1916 – the haunting Somme battlefields in Northern France.

Day 1

After departing early from the school, we proceed to the Channel Tunnel and travel to France.

We then drive down into Northern France and begin on the battlefield at Serre, where the Northern Pals battalions from places like Accrington, Barnsley, Leeds and Sheffield went into battle on 1st July 1916.

We see the battlefield cemeteries and visit the Sheffield Memorial Park with its WW1 trenches and shell holes. This evocative battlefield is a place where you can almost see the events of the First Day of the Battle of the Somme unfold more than a century later.

In the afternoon, we visit the Ulster Tower to look at one of the battlefields fought over on the First Day of the Battle of the Somme by ‘Pals’ units from Northern Ireland.

Here we also go into Thiepval Wood and see trenches and positions uncovered by a team of archaeologists and have the opportunity to safely handle some real WW1 artefacts.

In the battlefield cemeteries, we look at the commemoration of the dead and the work of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, and on the high ground above the Ancre Valley look at landscape and memory, and the importance of high ground on a battlefield.

From here we check in to our accommodation in the Somme area and have an evening meal.

Included meals: Dinner

Pals graves at Serre
Serre Battlefield
Included Highlights
  • Thiepval

  • Serre Battlefield

  • Sheffield Memorial Park

Day 2

We start today at the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing, looking at the subject of missing soldiers, the architecture of memorials, and see whole panels on the memorial, covered with the names of ‘Pals’ visually explaining the effect of casualties on a local community.

We see the Thiepval Centre Museum and walk to the high point of the Thiepval Ridge to see where Pals battalions from Salford were wiped out at the beginning of the Battle of the Somme.

At Mametz, we visit the Devonshire Cemetery and see the ground where these men fought on 1st July 1916, viewing the battlefield from the German perspective and looking at the war poetry of William Noel Hodgson.

At Montauban and Trones Wood we look at the story of the men from Liverpool and Manchester Pals who fought in this area in July 1916. We finish at Delville Wood, where many Pals battalions fought.

We will then begin our return home via the Channel Tunnel, with arrival back at the school expected in the late evening.

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Thiepval Memorial
Thiepval Museum
Included Highlights
  • Thiepval Museum

  • Devonshire Cemetery

  • Trones Wood

Accommodation

Examples of the kind of hotels you can book.

The Poppies 1 & 2 - Outside Area
The Poppies 1 & 2 - Outside Area

Poppies School Hotel Ypres

De Stuersstraat 6, 8900 Ieper, Ypres,

Home sweet home for groups of up to 129 and a minimum of 25 in the historical centre of Ypres. Located next to the market square of Ypres, The Poppies 1 & 2 is the ideal accommodation for battlefield tours. Your stay in these authentic, classic, old School Hotel combined with its unique location will make your trip to the Ypres Salient unforgettable.

Hotel Facilities

  • English Speaking Staff
  • WiFi Available
  • Fully Health and Safety Compliant
  • Located next to Ypres Market Square
  • Sole Occupancy of Building from 45 people
  • Vending Machine
  • Games Room with Table Football, Pool Table and Pinball Machine
  • Night Guard on Duty
  • Dining Area

Room Facilities

  • Bath and/or Shower
  • Ensuite Facilities
  • Single or Bunk Beds
  • Smoke Detectors in Every Room
The Menin Gate - Outside View
The Menin Gate - Outside View

Menin Gate School Hotel

Kauwekijnstraat 1 - 8900 Ypres, Ypres, 8900

Located on the doorstep of the Menin Gate Memorial and with the ramparts just across the street, this is the ideal location for groups visiting Ypres and its surrounding area. The Menin Gate offers quality group accommodation for groups of up to 52 persons, it’s a perfect base for school groups visiting the battlefields.

Hotel Facilities

  • English Speaking Staff
  • WiFi Available
  • Fully Health and Safety Compliant
  • Central Location
  • Sole Occupancy of Building from 35 people
  • Vending Machine
  • Pool Table and Ping-Pong Table
  • Teachers Lounge
  • Night Guard on Duty
  • Breakfast Room

Room Facilities

  • Bath and/or Shower
  • Ensuite Facilities
  • Single or Bunk Beds
  • Smoke Detectors in Every Room
The Salient - Outside Area
The Salient - Outside Area

The Salient School Hotel

D'Hondstraat 27,, 8900 Ieper,

The Salient is a historical building in the centre of Ypres, located close to the market square. It can accommodate groups of up to 102 people in a quiet area, even though it's located in the heart of the city centre. The ground floor has recently been renovated entirely and opens onto the terrace and large private garden, which means enough place for everyone.

Hotel Facilities

  • English Speaking Staff
  • WiFi Available
  • Fully Health and Safety Compliant
  • Located in a quieter area only 160m from Ypres Market Square
  • Sole Occupancy of Building from 70 people
  • Vending Machine
  • Games Room with Table Football, Pool Table and Pinball Machine
  • Large Private Garden
  • Teachers Lounge
  • Night Guard on Duty
  • Breakfast Room

Room Facilities

  • Bath and/or Shower
  • Ensuite Facilities
  • Single or Bunk Beds
  • Smoke Detectors in Every Room
Old School Haringe - Outside Area
Old School Haringe - Outside Area

Old School Haringe

Moenaardestraat 95 , 8972 Haringe-Poperinge,

This old school building can accommodate groups of up to 63 and a minimum of 25 in Haringe, a village located 11km from Poperinge, 25km from Ieper and less than 70km from Calais. It has 63 beds in 14 rooms all located on the ground floor. There is a dinning and communal area that can seat 80 people and if you have more than 45 people in your group, you do not have to share this accommodation with another group.

Hotel Facilities

  • English Speaking Staff
  • WiFi Available
  • Fully Health and Safety Compliant
  • Located in a small village, in the heart of the Flanders Battlefields
  • Sole Occupancy of Building from 45 people
  • Games Room with Table Football, Pool Table, Computer Games and Board Games
  • Dining Area

Room Facilities

  • Bath and/or Shower
  • Ensuite Facilities
  • Single or Bunk Beds
  • Smoke Detectors in Every Room

Ready to Book?

If you would like more information or would like to customise this tour to suit your needs, get in touch today.

Reasons to book with us

Tailor Made Tours

Each of our tours are tailor made to suit your school’s specific requirements.

Specialist Guides

Our team of experienced specialist guides are both passionate and knowledgeable.

Curriculum Highlights

Our tours are carefully designed to meet the aims of the National Curriculum.

Safe & Secure

You can rest assured that your school trips are safe and financially secured.