Canadian D-Day Experience

Canadian D-Day Experience

Réf Tour : # 3

Pick-up/Drop-off places : Rates are valid for Bayeux or Caen. Other places on request.
Pick-up time/Drop-off time : flexible

Duration : 8 hours with 1 h for lunch time. You will discuss with your guide the different options according to your preferences.

Rates for 1 to 7 pax : 550€

Lunch of the guide/driver

Entrance fees or tasting fees, unless mentioned
Gratuities for the driver/guide
Meals and drinks, unless specified
Personal insurance and expenses

Things to know before the tour
This activity is not wheelchair accessible everywhere. This tour is not adapted for children under 4 years old. We can provide some car seats until 10 years old. The order of the visit can be modified for some reasons (weather conditions, access restricted to the museums and sites). The museum listed in the program can be changed if there is a restriction beyond our control and will be replaced by a similar one after a discussion with your guide.

How to prepare your tour ?
Wear shoes, clothing and equipment that protect you from the cold, rain and wind in winter (hats, scarves, gloves, umbrellas) and from the sun in summer (sunglasses, hat or cap). If you change to modify the contain of the tour, please send a request for a quotation. We also can design a specific tour if one of your relatives came in Normandy during the WWII.

The Ardenne Abbey – The North Nova Scothia Highlanders Memorial – The Sherbrooke Fusiliers Regiment Memorial – Hell’s Corner – The Canadian Cemetery in Bény-Reviers – The Canada House – The Hotel Graves – Juno Beach Center with its park – Juno Beach – Château de Creully

Embark on an informative and memorable one-day excursion to visit the major sites of the Canadian landing beaches.

Your private driver-guide will share the highlights of Juno sector. Your day will start at the Ardenne Abbey built in the 12th century and occupied by the monks until the French revolution. In the 20th century, the place was under the control of a farmer Jacques Vico and became under the german occupation a training camp for the the French resistance. A few weeks before D-day, the buildings were occupied by the Hitlerjugend Division or called the Baby division (12 SS division). Today a memorial commemorates a tragic event that happened there with the execution of 24 canadian soldiers.

On the way to go to Juno beach, you will see two Memorials dedicated to the North Nova Scotia Highlanders and to the Sherbrooke Fusiliers Regiment. One stop will be held to Hell’s corner where the Canadians resist repetitive attacks by the Germans and bombardments for a month until the victory at the Carpiquet aerodrome on July 4.

To conclude the morning, you will pay tribute to the 2.049 brave and young Canadians who are burried in that small Cemetery in Bény-Reviers before you gather at the Canada House where a memorial has been erected in honour of the Queen’s Own Rifles Regiment and the Fort Garry Horse Armoured Division who paid a heavy price in the assault. Not far away, you will see the Hotel Graves, the headquarters for the Canadian and British War correspondants.

After the lunch break, you will head to Juno Beach Centre, its park and the landing beaches where the Regina and all the Canadian Scottish regiments landed. Juno Beach Center presents the story of a new nation, the civilian war effort of the entire population, the early involvment of the country to help England to fight the Nazis as well as the various Canadian campaigns through Europe and even Asia.

The tour will end with a stop at Château de Creully, an 11th century castle, a former property held by Colbert, prime minister of Louis XIV in 1682. But in the early afternoon of June 6, 1944, the Canadians of Company D of the Royal Winnipeg Rifles supported by three Sherman tanks belonging to the 2nd platoon of 1st Hussars C Squadron (2nd Armored Brigade) liberated Creully. A few days later, British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) radio transmitter was installed in the tower of the castle. The castle also housed a club for the Canadian airmen from RCAF and close to it, the B9 airfield was set up from June to August 1944. This castle is the property of the town not for sale due to the presence of a white lady or Dame Blanche. From the terrace of the castle, we can observe General Montgomery’s tactical headquarters in Creullet castle from 7 to 22 June 1944. He received Winston Churchill on June 12, De Gaulle on June 14, Eisenhower on June 15, King George VI on June 16 and General Einsenhower. The French resistance cross was erected near the centre of Juno Beach, where the General de Gaulle returned to France for the first time since his exile in England.

If you are interested in visiting Dieppe and the Canadian WWI Battlefields in France and Belgium, ask us for a quotation. We organize round or single trips from Ypres, Calais, Paris and Normandy with a driver-guide. You will save your time with the connections between the different WWI and WW2 sites. You will travel in a comfortable sedan or minibus and you don’t need to carry on your bags from one place to another. Your guide will take care for that. A family trip can even be cheaper than travelling on your own with the trains. We will be glad to help you to organize your Canadian Battlefields Tour and optimize your time with our suggestions for transportation from Canada to England, Belgium and France for easy connections and find some hotels and restaurants that fit in your budget.

Our program can include the main fascinating highlights of the WWI Canadian sites.

Ypres in Belguim
Canadian troops have been committed to that area. From the first successful use of poison gas against Allied troops to the final ascent of Passchendaele Ridge, Canadian men were involved in some of the fiercest fighting on this part of the front. Your guide will tell you the story of Canadian military involvement in the following sites:
– Essex Farm ADS and John McCrae’s Dressing Station
– Vancouver Corner and the 1st Canadian Division’s defence against the German use of chlorine gas, April 1915.
– Hill 62 and the fighting for Mount Sorrel in June 1916
– October – November 1917 and the fighting up the Passchendaele Ridge, Bellevue Spur and the seizing of Passchendaele
– PPCLI on the Bellewarde Ridge – May 1915
– Canadian actions around Kemmel and Plogsteert – 1915

The day will conclude with the Last Post Ceremony under the Menin Gate Memorial commemorating more than 54,000 British and Commonwealth soldiers, among them 7,000 Canadians who died in the area and have no known grave.

From Ypres, the route can continue to Vimy Ridge.

Vimy Ridge
Vimy is still present in Canadian memory because of the stunning victory of Canadian troops at the Battle of Arras in April 1917. The memorial was ingared in 1936 and is the work of Toronto sculturer Walter Allward. This memorial is first and foremost a testimony to peace, listing the 11,000 Canadians who died in France and who have no known grave. Located at the top of the ridge, one understands the strategic importance of this site to the occupying forces. You can explore the trenches and tunnels.

Wellington quarries
If you want to live an unforgettable experience and know the living conditions of the soldiers inside a limestone quarry, we strongly recommend the Wellington Quarry, 15 minutes from Vimy. There was no Canadian presence but 20 meters underground, 24000 British soldiers and New Zealand Tunnellers built a city underneath the town. 8 kilometers of trenches were built between October 1916 and March 1917. You will see graffiti drawn by soldiers, a chapel, dormitories, the officers’ office, signals, authentic artifacts.

Beaumont-Hamel Memorial & Newfoundland Regiment
Canadian troops did not take part in the fighting in the sum until September 1916. But the then-independent Dominion of Newfoundland participated from day one by being attached to the 29th British Division. In the offensive of July 1, 2016, the Newfoundland Regiment lost 684 of its 800 men in 45 minutes to capture the village of Beaumont-Hamel. The park still bears the scars of the battle with British and German trench lines still visible.

Courcellette Memorial
Canada’s major participation in the Somme campaign began with the capture of the village of Courcelette where a memorial was erected to commemorate the Canadian Expeditionary Force. Located outside the village, some of these heroes are buried in nearby cemeteries. There are many fascinating sites in the Somme region but the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing in Actions is worth a stop as it dominates the skyline and the surrounding battlefields.