'36th (Ulster) Division

Lys Crossing' tour

A worthy detour from the known battlefields: not only at Ypres or at the Somme, hard battles have been fought...

The region near the river Lys is only half an hour drive from the 'Ypres Salient' and was occupied by the German troops for almost four years. All this time it remained at a safe distance from the frontline.

The German troops installed themselves and numerous ammunition depots, bunkers and airfields to support the nearby Ypres front, were deployed.
 
No doubt: more than enough material for an exciting journey ...
 
Well-known names such as Hermann Goering, Manfred Von Richthofen (the Red Baron), Roland Garros and Winston Churchill passed in this region during the war events... all fascinating stories in surprising places.
In October 1918 the long-awaited liberation offensive passed over this part of Flanders.
​Heavy shelling from both Allied and German side on the villages of Hulste, Bavikhove and Desselgem, made clear that the distress of war was not over yet...

The crossing of the river Lys on the night of October 19-20th, 1918, by the 36th (Ulster) Division at Bavikhove caused many casualties on both sides. We tell the full story of these spectacular events at the exact location.

Since August 2018, there is a beautiful memorial on this site, that recalls the courageous crossing of the 36th (Ulster) Division.
 
Together with Phil Hamilton and the Harelbeke city council, we were able to realize this project. A fitting memorial at an important place. All too often, these bitter final chapters of the First World War, were untold or forgotten.
 
The research for my book 'Liberation offensive at the Lys : from Ypres to Gaverbeek' yielded a lot of material for this fascinating tour by the river Lys.
Of course we visit 'Harlebeke New British Cemetery' and tell the personal story of many of those who are resting there ...including at least 120 men of the 36th (Ulster) Division.
If you tell us in advance your personal interests for a certain battalion, regiment, place or family member in these stages of the great war... we will be happy to offer you a well documented bespoke tour.
Prices for this tour are on demand, depending on program and number of participants.
Feel free to contact us for any questions about this tour.