Centenary season continues with a promotion of specialist military history events to keep the history enthusiast busy.
The Frontline Walk is a 100km walk completed in three days. Not a challenge for the fainthearted, it will push you physically and mentally as you march along the Western Front. Starting at Lochnagar Crater and ending at the Menin Gate with the Ceremony of the Last Post, the Frontline Walk is a tough but poignant event, with memories that will last you a lifetime.
The top three fundraisers will have the opportunity to lay a wreath at the Menin Gate, a once-in-a-lifetime chance to take part in the moving final salute to the fallen.
The Walk takes place 100 years on from the Battle of the Somme, one of the largest battles of the First World War, which resulted in the death of more than a million Commonwealth, French, and German soldiers
TEL: 0207 811 3960
DATES/OPENING TIMES: 5-9 October 2016
WHERE: Meeting at Wellington Barracks, Birdcage Walk, London, SW1E 6HQ. Travelling across France and Belgium to finish at the Menin Gate. Returning to Wellington Barracks.
HOW MUCH: £150 registration fee + £1,200 minimum fundraising target (with £550 due by 1 August 2016 to confirm a place on the walk). Final deadline for fundraising is the end of December 2016.
TRACKS TO THE TRENCHES 2016
Tracks to the Trenches is a major event marking the contribution that light railways made during the First World War. These railways played a crucial role in moving supplies and equipment to keep the frontline troops of all combatant countries operational.
Held at the Moseley Railway Trust’s Apedale site, the event will feature steam trains (with rides) and demonstrations of War Department freight trains. There will be many living history displays, and various groups will interact with the facilities on site, including our replica Western Front trench.
This year, we are placing a special emphasis on the role that horses played in providing transport during the conflict. There will be a full range of supporting activities for all the family, including model railways, vintage vehicles, catering, and trade stands. And not forgetting a real ale bar!
TEL: 0845 094 1953
DATES/OPENING TIMES: 13, 14, and 15 May 2016. Friday 13 May 12.30pm-5.30pm. Saturday 14 and Sunday 15 May 10.30am-5.30pm.
WHERE: Apedale Valley Light Railway, Apedale Community Country Park, Loomer Road, Chesterton, Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire, ST5 7LB
HOW MUCH: Adults £9, Children £4, Family (2 adults, 2 children) £20. Advance ticket offer at website www.ww1-event.org (live until 1 May 2016).
WWI FRENCH NARROW-GAUGE RAILWAY CENTENARY
The ‘P’tit Train de la Haute Somme’ (‘Little Train of the Upper Somme’) volunteers will celebrate the centenary of their narrow-gauge railway line during a big event in May. This line is the last remaining railway line of several hundreds of kilometres built in 1916 by French and English armies to supply the frontline during the Battle of the Somme.
Visiting WWI locomotives will come from England, Wales, and Germany to join the railway’s historic locomotives and wagons. A model railways exhibition, historic displays, re-enactment WWI groups, and societies will take part in this four-day event. The narrow-gauge railway museum, the biggest in Europe, will also be open to help you to learn more about the history of those railways.
Open each day from 10am to 7pm. Take-away food available. See our website for train timetables.
TEL: +33 322 83 11 89
DATES/OPENING TIMES: 5-8 May 2016
WHERE: Hameau de Froissy, La Neuville-lès-Bray, France, Somme department, 40km east of Amiens.
HOW MUCH: Adults €10.50, Children (aged 5-12), €7.00, free for children under five years old.
To see this article as it appeared in issue 68 of Military History Monthly, click here.