Retreat from Mons

About the tour: Retreat from Mons

Tour Introduction

Mons witnessed the opening shots of WW1. Travel with us and follow the story of the ‘Old Contemptibles’ including a visit to the battlefield of Nery.

Tour Includes

  • 4 nights hotel with continental breakfast
  • Specialist Battlefields Guide
  • Local joining points
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Once you have booked your battlefield tour either online, or by telephone (), you have the flexibility of how you pay off the remainder of your balance. You can -

  1. Use our balance payment facility online to make and track your card payments. You can pay as much as you want up until your final due date or pay it all, the choice is yours.
  2. Send payments via online banking.
  3. Send payments via cheque.
  4. Call us and make a card payment, either a small amount or as lump sum until your final due date.

Our contact and online banking payment details will be on your confirmation invoice to remind you of your choices.

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Tour Itinerary

Day 1

Local departure by coach, then to our hotel in Belgium for a two-night stay.

Nimy Bridge

Nimy Bridge (3)

Key Visits

  • 'First and 'Last' graves on Western Front
  • Mons Communal Cemetery
  • St Symphorien Cemetery
  • Obourg station
  • Nimy Bridge
  • Mons War Museum
  • Mons & Casteau

Day 2 - Casteau & Mons

We start on the battlefield at Mons where the very first British shots of the war were fired at Casteau in August 1914, when British and German cavalry clashed here. We then visit the superb Mons War Museum, and from here travel to the unique St Symphorien Cemetery where British and German soldiers who fell at Mons lay side by side. Here we also see the graves of the ‘First and Last’ British and Commonwealth casualties on the Western Front.

After lunchtime in Mons, we travel along the battlefield where British units fought at Mons seeing the Bridge at Nimy, where the first two Victoria Crosses were awarded, the station at Obourg defended by the Middlesex Regiment, and see 1914 graves in Mons Communal Cemetery.

Included meals: Breakfast

Mons & Casteau

First Shots Memorial, Casteau (3)

Key Visits

  • Le Cateau Cemetery
  • Suffolk Memorial, Le Cateau
  • Etreux cemetery and memorial
  • Nery Battlefield

Day 3 - Le Cateau Military Cemetery, Etreux & Nery

Leaving Mons, we follow the route of the ‘Retreat From Mons’ and this morning seeing the battlefield at Le Cateau where the British made a stand on 26th August 1914. We see Le Cateau Cemetery, and the Suffolk Memorial in the fields where the battle raged.

After lunch we look at the story of the Royal Munster Fusiliers at Etreux, visiting their cemetery and memorial. We then continue to follow the route of the Old Contemptibles as they marched towards Paris, and end our day on the battlefield at Nery, one of the classic actions of 1914. Here British Cavalry and Gunners fought a rear-guard action. One of the guns from the battle is still preserved in the Imperial War Museum! From here we continue to our hotel in Compiegne for a two-night stay.

Included meals: Breakfast

Suffolk Memorial, Le Cateau

Suffolk Memorial, Le Cateau (4)

Key Visits

  • La Ferte Sous Jouarre Memorial
  • Guards Grave, Villers-Cotterets
  • Vailly British Cemetery
  • Royal Engineers Memorial

Day 4 - Villers-Cotterets & Vailly sur Aisne

After the Retreat From Mons, the British Army went on to fight in the Battle of the Marne and then the Aisne in September 1914. Today we visit the Guards Grave in Villers-Cotterets, where the Guardsmen fought among the trees. We then visit the La Ferte sous Jouarre Memorial, which commemorates all those who died from Mons to the Aisne who have no known grave. We also visit the Royal Engineers memorial on the banks of the Marne river.

After lunch at Chateau-Thierry, we move onto the Aisne heights looking at the fighting here, visiting Vailly British Cemetery, and then looking at the British involvement in the actions around Soupir, seeing the churchyard.

Included meals: Breakfast

Day 5

Return to UK.

Included meals: Breakfast

Specialist Battlefield Guides

All of Leger’s battlefield tours are accompanied by specialist guides. Their individual in-depth knowledge of warfare will be informative, as well as enhance your overall experience, as they recreate a fascinating perception of the history and factual events of each battle. Discover the actual catalysts for war, the strategies employed and the final, inevitable outcomes, as well as experiencing the emotional human side of the front line.

Please note: On certain tours, you may get tour guides other that the ones listed below.

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You will stay for two nights at the Hotel Casteau in Casteau, near Mons, followed by two nights in Compiegne at the 3-star Hotel B&B Compiegne.

Travel Options

All our coaches and transfer vehicles operate a 'no smoking on board policy'. The use of electronic cigarettes is strictly forbidden.
In the interest of fellow guests, do not take hot food or ice cream on board.
alcohol can only be taken on board our vehicles at the discretion of your driver.

When it comes to getting to the Battlefields, Leger Holidays make it easy, with a selection of travel options for you choose from.

Travel Extras

With an overnight stay or the option to meet us at the interchange, our travel extras allow you to create a travel experience to suit your needs...

Join coach at Interchange

Join your tour coach at the interchange.

On most tours if you’d prefer to join your tour coach at Stop 24 services, you can park your car in the car park which is accredited by the Park Mark safer parking scheme and is monitored 24 hours a day by CCTV. Payment for the parking is made on arrival using the self-service machines.

Excludes tours to Ireland and the U.K. and tours travelling via Brittany Ferries.

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