Somme branch plans trip to the battlefields

A TRIP to the battlefields of the First World War is being planned for next year by the Friends of the Somme Portadown Branch.

The branch is hoping to organise a visit to the Somme, Verdun and Ypres, visiting various sites and cemeteries in the Somme area including Vimy Ridge, Ancre Cemetery, Deville Wood, Lochnagar Crater etc, as well as attending the July 1 ceremonies at Thiepval and The Ulster Tower.

The group will move on to Verdun where they will visit, among others, Douamont Fort and Ossuary, American Cemetery at Meuse Argonne, The Trench of Bayonets.

Tom Irwin, honorary secretary, said, “On our way to Ypres from Verdun we will visit Peronne and round Ypres we will visit Irish Peace Park, Tyne Cot Cemetery, Hooge Crater, Poperinge etc finishing at the Menin Gate Ceremony.

“We particularly welcome anyone who may wish to visit a family member’s grave in the areas we will be touring.”

The proposed dates are from June 29 to July 6 inclusive.

Anyone interested in taking part in the trip should phone Tom on 3884 0897 or email