My Wife and I won a trip to the Western Front in 2018 for the 100 year commemoration of the NZ division and the liberation of Le Quesnoy in 1918. The competition was organised by Te Papa and Innovative Travel. We spent the week visiting a wide variety of battlefields on the Western Front including Messines, Passchendaele and Leper (Ypres).
Our visit to Menin Gate coincided with a very special occasion, when 2 Australian soldiers, who had been found in a farmers field were given full military burial honors; this was a highlight of the tour, a very moving place to be when you see all the names on Menin Gate, approximately 540000 names who have no known grave, especially when the local fire service play the last post,a tradition that has continued since WWI.
Visiting the Arras tunnels was also a very moving experience, the sacrifice of New Zealand soldiers is very evident and moving, as it was when we visited the cemeteries friend and foe alike. The tour guides were very knowledgeable and happy to answer any questions we asked even if they had to do a bit of research to find answers.
We could not have done this without the expertise of a guided tour, it was really the only way to do such a visit. Innovative Travel put on a great tour and I would have no hesitation recommending them to anyone who wanted to go on this tour. Regards Brent and Nicky Parsons.