Pilgrimage 2022

The Friends Annual Pilgrimage to Ypres has taken place almost every year since 1960. It evolved from annual visits by Friends to the Annual Patronal Festival in St George's in the years preceeding 1960. Some of these Friends on the early Pilgrimages were visiting Ypres for the first time since the 1914-1918 War. The primary aims of the Pilgrimage are to visit and support St George's Church and and its congregation, to give Pilgrims the opportunity to visit graves and memorials with family or regimental connections and to give members of the Friends a chance to meet each other.

Itinerary and Costs

Following Covid-19 causing the cancellation of the 2020 and 2021 Pilgrimages, we are cautiously optimistic that they will be resumed in 2022 when we intend to travel, as in previous years, over the early May Bank Holiday: 29th April – 3rd May inclusive. The Pilgrimage has been popular for many years and those of you who have not yet attended have missed a very special experience. Not only does it provide support for the Church and its members but it gives the opportunity to visit cemeteries, memorials and sites which are often excluded from other battlefield tour itineraries.

Participants are invited to complete an optional Visit Request Form around which, as far as is possible, will be built an interesting and informative itinerary with priority given to those with a family or regimental connection. There is no requirement whatsoever for anyone to be an aficionado on the Great War as, regardless of expertise or any previous visits to the battlefields, all may be assured of a warm and friendly welcome from fellow travellers and experienced guides.

Travel will begin by coach from Leicester with various pick-up points en route to our early afternoon P&O ferry crossing from Dover to Calais. The cost will depend, in part, on the ever fluctuating currency exchange rate but is anticipated to be in the region of £450.00 per person for those sharing a double/twin room. Included in the price will be coach & ferry travel throughout, 3-star hotel accommodation in the centre of Ypres, three group lunches and one group evening meal. You are advised to make your own arrangements for Travel/Health Insurance cover.

Brief administrative details are given below but if you would like to register an expression of interest, or require any further information, please do not hesitate to contact us as we will be only too pleased to assist.

Contact details: E-mail: foft@live.co.uk - Telephone: 07908 003398 – or write to FOSGP, 21 Britford Ave., WIGSTON, Leics LE18 2RF

Itinerary

Day 1- Friday

Depart from Leicester, by coach, travelling to Dover for early afternoon P&O ferry crossing to Calais –
Cemetery/Memorial/Sites visit(s) en route to Ypres prior to arrival at hotel – evening free.

Day 2- Saturday

Full day excursion, by coach, to The Somme Battlefield – group lunch in a local café – evening free.

Day 3- Sunday

Morning Service at St George’s followed by a Buffet Lunch in the adjacent Church Rooms with the Chaplain and Church members.
Optional afternoon coach excursion to e.g. Talbot House and/or visits to local cemeteries/memorials/sites.
Evening free before and after the laying of a wreath on behalf of “The Friends” at Last Post Service, Menin Gate, 8 p.m.

Day 4- Monday

Full day excursion, by coach, around the Ypres Salient area – group lunch in a local café.
Group evening meal in a local restaurant close to the Menin Gate & hotel.

Day 5- Tuesday

Depart hotel for Calais - early afternoon P&O ferry crossing to Dover and return to Leicester –
Cemetery/Memorial/Sites visit(s) en route from Ypres.