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Battlefield tours of India and Burma

1st April 2011 Print

Leading escorted tour operator Leger Holidays has announced six new tours in its battlefield range, including two trips to Asia.

The new Tours of Remembrance will visit Burma, North East India and the island of Malta, along with three new French tours.

The introduction of these tours follows the announcement of a brand new partnership between Leger Holidays and the Royal British Legion. The partnership sees Leger join forces with Poppy Travel, the official travel arm of The Royal British Legion, providing an increased number of tours for 2011.

The new tours are all tailored ‘Journeys of Remembrance’, incorporating personal visits to the last resting place or memorial of a loved one. Whilst each tour has a pre-determined itinerary, some flexibility will remain to allow for the personal pilgrimages of all the travellers in the group. All tours are accompanied by a Royal British Legion Support Group, comprising of a senior member of the Legion, a Standard Bearer and medic, and also an expert battlefield guide from Leger to help provide extra information and insight.

These additional tours take the total number of new battlefield tours launched by Leger Holidays for 2011 to 14. Leger is the UK’s leading battlefield tour operator and now has 39 tours covering important battles, locations, memorials and people, primarily from the First and Second World Wars, but also the Boer and Zulu wars, Napoleonic conflicts and the American civil wars.

The new tours are:

Malta, GC an Island’s Bravery: Malta played a pivotal role in World War II as the only British–held harbour between Gibraltar and Alexandria. This tour remembers the endurance of all those who helped to ensure Malta’s survival, especially given that during March and April 1942 Malta absorbed twice the tonnage of bombs dropped on London during the Blitz. An eight-day tour starts from £899 per person.

Burma Armistice: A Pilgrimage Tour - This special journey visits the most southerly of the three war cemeteries in Burma and the one associated with the infamous Burma-Siam Railway. It also takes in the beautiful coastline, tropical beaches and the colonial heart of Moulmein. A 10-day tour starts at £1799 per person.

North East India: They gave us our today - At Kohima and Imphal in the remote hillsides of North East India, the tide of the war in the East turned against the Japanese in 1944. During the trip, passengers will be invited to take part in Services of Remembrance supported by the Indian Army. They will also hear stories of Corporal Harman’s unbelievable action that gained him the Victoria Cross and enjoy sightseeing tours around New Delhi and Colonial Old Delhi. A 13-day tour starts from £2,795.

The Unknown Warrior: This unique tour commemorates the story of the Unknown Warrior, from his selection in a chapel at St. Pol near Arras in 1920 to his final resting place in Westminster Abbey. A three-day tour starts from £279 per person.

The Great Pilgrimage Revisited: In 1928 the Royal British Legion ran its very first tour to the Battlefields of France and Belgium, taking families to visit the scenes of great bravery and sacrifice. The visits and original itineraries from these past tours have been recreated for this updated break. Passengers can visit The Somme or Mons for this journey of remembrance with a Parade of Standards. A five-day tour starts from £449 per person.

The Somme Anniversary: On this 95th anniversary tour, passengers can honour the 420,000 casualties from the lengthy Battle of The Somme, including participating in the Official Service of Remembrance at the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing.  Prices for a four-day tour start from £429.

Royal British Legion members receive discounts on the tours. However, non-members can also book to go on the tours at Specialist group bookings advisors are available.

Leger Holidays’ Managing Director, Ian Henry commented: “We are delighted to be able to offer these new tours to both Leger Holidays’ customers and members of The Royal British Legion. We feel the new tours offer some fantastic new experiences and, as Journeys of Remembrance, allow people to make a very personal pilgrimage.

“We are very much looking forward to working with the Royal British Legion going forward, with its long and proud history of service and remembrance to our armed forces. It is a pleasure to be able to make these trips – which would be very difficult to organise individually – a real possibility for people.”

John Farmer, National Chairman of The Royal British Legion, added: “This is a very significant year as we celebrate 90 years of service and Remembrance to our current and ex-service personnel and their families.
“Coming together with Leger Holidays makes perfect sense by increasing the number of tours available and making them more accessible as we can now offer over 450 joining points across the country.”

With over 27 years’ industry experience, Leger Holidays offers total financial security with ABTA and ATOL protection.