Pals at War

To plan and arrange your tour, call us on: 01709 385500

Alternatively, if you’re interested in booking a tour for a smaller group, take a look at what our sister site offers:

These tours tell the story of the keen young men who volunteered for Kitchener’s ‘New Army’ in late 1914 and trained through 1915, ready to fight at Loos or on the Somme.

Serre Memorial
Serre Memorial

Serving together

‘Join together and serve together’ was a great recruiting slogan but, unfortunately, many would also die together. Most of the Pals came from the industrial north of England – Sheffield, Leeds, Bradford, Hull, Manchester, Liverpool and Accrington. For many, July 1, 1916 was their battle baptism and their funeral. Out of the 720 Accrington Pals who took part in the battle for Serre, 584 were left dead, wounded or missing.

Pals Memorial
Pals Memorial

31st Division at Serre

This First World War tour examines the exploits of the 31st Division at Serre, the 36th Ulsters at Mill Road, the 32nd on the Leipzig salient and the successes of the 30th at Montauban.

Serre Memorial
Serre Memorial

What next?

We also explore discussions such as what next? How could a small town like Accrington deal with so many casualties in one day?

Memorial to the Missing

The tour will then finish at the largest British war memorial in the world, high on the Thiepval ridge at Lutyen's Memorial to the Missing.

Memorial to the Missing
Thiepval Memorial

Suggested Itineraries

All tours can be tailor-made to suit your needs. Some groups have specific sites that they wish to visit including graves, where they may wish to lay a wreath. Others like to combine a history tour with some leisure time, such as a day visit to Bruges, a visit to Bellewaerde Theme Park outside Ypres or add on a visit to Disneyland® Paris.

Download and print brochure page

All our tours include:

  • Pick-up and drop-off at your school or chosen pick-up point
  • Executive class coach travel (subject to availability)
  • Return travel on Eurotunnel (or P&O Ferries, if you prefer)
  • Entrance to all museums throughout the tour
  • Full board accommodation for tours lasting two days or more
  • Exclusive Teachers’ Information Booklet and Pupil Worksheets
  • Personal Battlefields Tours Executive to assist with tour planning
Jacqui Shaw - Our Head of Schools and Colleges Battlefield Tours

Expert guidance and planning

Here at Holts, we believe that Battlefield Tours are an important part of how a student learns about history, and perhaps even themselves. We have passion, experience and the knowledge to help make the most of your Battlefield Tour and make it an experience for your students to remember for a lifetime.

Our Head of Schools and Colleges Battlefield Tours, Jacqui Shaw, was educated at Reading and Cambridge, and has worked as a teacher for over 20 years. Inspired to learn more after visiting the Battlefields herself on a school tour, she has been returning ever since and is excited to be able to bring the experience to new generations of students. With Holts, we seek to bring history to life, understand the past, and ensure a memorable and rewarding Battlefield Tour for your students.

To arrange and plan your tour, call us on 01709 385500