The Western Front
Aaron Pegram Takes You on a Personal Pilgrimage
This year Aaron Pegram, who is currently the Australian War Memorial’s WW1 Military Historian, took a fantastic group of battlefield enthusiasts to the Western Front to retrace the path of the AIF through France and Belgium to places of great triumph and tragedy.
Most of the tour participants were interested in the Western Front because of a family connection; several people had immediate contact with a First World War veteran and were eager to see the places where their fathers or grandfathers had fought. So two months before the tour, Aaron asked tour members to let him know the cemeteries or sites they were particularly interested in visiting, which were incorporated into the itinerary. Aaron’s in-depth knowledge of these battlefields allowed him to relate large-scale battles to what their relatives had endured during the fighting, which got everyone really engaged and excited. For those making a ‘pilgrimage’ on behalf of their families for the first time, this was a very touching experience.
There were several times when Aaron and the tour manager were able to give the group more than what is listed in the itinerary, a tour through the tunnels at Vimy Ridge, a visit to the German cemetery at Rancourt, as well as museums at Albert and Ieper. A highlight of the tour was having lunch with the locals at Hendecourt, and an unexpected invitation to view the trenches and tunnels in St Martin’s Wood by the farmer who currently owns the land.
Anzac Day was enjoyed by all. The Dawn service at Villers-Bretonneux (Pictured left) went off without a hitch, and the service later in the day at Bullecourt was equally poignant and memorable.
From talking to the tour group, everyone was extremely impressed with the service Boronia Travel provided: everything from accommodation, meals, and moving about in a luxury coach. The tour manager, John Bromage, ensured everyone on the coach was looked after and always on time. He also worked very hard to ensure the group saw and experienced everything they wanted.
For those interested about our Australian War Memorial Tours, please visit the website where full itineraries are available for viewing. Or to make an enquiry please contact us
or call us on 1800 035 350
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