Tours First World War Battlefields

Seeing the battlefields with a guide, rather than in a large tour group, allows you to have a flexible itinerary tailored to your own interests, and to get off the beaten tourist track into smaller and quieter sites inaccessible to coaches and large groups.

Together we will walk in the footsteps of those who have gone before us, allowing the landscape, which is the last remaining witness of the Great War, to speak to us of moments of deep human tragedy, and the heights of endeavour and heroism. Once we slow down the landscape reveals its scars, and the lingering footprint of war. We can march in time with the soldiers, and then tread the tear-filled pathways of the bereaved.

My guiding of the Western Front is informed by my unique insights gained in over forty years of research, battlefield visiting and work in archives across the world.

Read more about how my guiding works, or read more about my specialist areas listed below.

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    The Commonwealth War Graves Commission Cemeteries

    Explore the design, architecture, horticulture and landscaping of cemeteries to reveal the architect's original intent, the richness of symbolism and the complexity of the Commission's work.

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    Military history

    Be transported back in time into the world of mud, barbed wire and shells that the soldiers endured, as well the strategic view from HQ.

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    Early Battlefield Tourism & Pilgrimage

    Walk in the footsteps of the broken-hearted in search of consolation, the veterans wanting to pay tribute to lost comrades, and the tourists seeking a snap with a ruined tank or on the lip of a crater.

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    Memorials

    Memorials to the missing, often vast in scale, stretch across Belgium and France to commemorate the missing with the same respect and honour as those with a headstone including their name.

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    Post-war reconstruction and the return of local people

    After the war residents started to stream back to the places that had been reduced to ruins by the fighting. It was a world of devastation and hope, of dread and opportunity. Showing determination and fortitude, they began to rebuild.

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    The establishment of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission

    War was still raging when the Imperial War Graves Commission was established in May 1917 and tasked with the permanent commemoration of the British empire’s war dead.

  7. Christmas truce: myths and realities

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    War service history research

    Make your visit really personal by commissioning me to undertake research into any relative or person of interest in advance of your trip, and visit related sites when you are there.

Mark Connelly, in a trenchcoat and walking boots, delivering a tour in Flanders

Meet Your Guide

For over forty years, Professor Mark Connelly has explored the battlefields of Belgium and France, and researched the stories of those who fought there in archives across the world.

Walk with him in the footsteps of those who have gone before us, to march in time with the soldiers, and then tread the tear-filled pathways of the bereaved.