Fly from London to Tel Aviv. On arrival we visit Ramleh CWGC before checking into our centrally located hotel and an introductory lecture to the Palestine Campaign before a free evening to explore the Tel Aviv waterfront.
Heading south towards Beersheva in the morning we will stop at the ANZAC memorial site where we will look at the actions of XXI Corps to break through the Turkish defences south of Gaza City. We then move on to Tel Gamma (Tel Jemmi), a site mentioned in the Bible that was a key location in the 2nd Battle of Gaza (Apr 17 1917) as well as the 3rd Battle. Jumping back in time slightly we will finish our morning with a visit the site of the Battle of Buqqar Ridge (27 Oct 1917) where Maj Lafone of the 1st County of London Yeomanry was killed: he was awarded the VC for his most conspicuous bravery, leadership and self-sacrifice. We will have lunch in the preserved Beersheva railway station, a key objective of the battle, before a walk through the old town passing the Turkish Memorial, Beersheva CWGC, Allenby Park and Memorial, the old Telegraph Station, the new military museum, the Australian Soldier Park and General Allenby's billet the night the city fell. Overnight in a central Beersheva hotel.
In the morning we will explore the actions of the XX Corps (the 60th and 74th Divisions) on 31 October 1917 and visit some of the positions captured by the 60th London Division to south west of the city, followed by a move to the east of the city to look at the ANZAC Mounted Division’s actions on 31 October 1917 including a visit to the site of the Australian Light Horse’s charge. After lunch we will look at 2 more mounted actions; the Australian Light Horse charge at Sheria (7 November 1917) and the Worcestershrie and Warwickshire Yeomanry’s charge during the affair of Huj (8 November 1917). Overnight in Beersheva.
Leaving Beersheva we head north towards Jerusalem. En route we will visit sites associated with the pursuit to Jerusalem; Mughar Ridge to look at the Yeomanry Charge and Junction Station to consider the logistic challenges of a lengthy advance in testing terrain. As we climb the hill towards the Holy City we will stop at the Israeli Tank Museum at Latrun. The museum has over 100 tanks and AFVs on display. Latrun is also the site of important battles in the 1948 Arab-Israeli war. On arrival in Jerusalem that afternoon we check into our hotel before a walking tour of the old city and free time to explore its numerous historic sites and attractions. Overnight in Jerusalem
Today we study the fall of Jerusalem in December 1917. To the west of Jerusalem we pay particular attention to the efforts of the 60th London Division including the London Irish action at Liver and Heart Redoubts alongside the London Scottish fight for Ain Karim and the Watch Tower including the VC action of Cpl CW Train. We will then move north west of the city to Nabi Samwil, the hill that is traditionally considered the burial site of the prophet Samuel and which became known as the Mountain of Joy after 1099 as it was from the summit of the hill that the Crusaders first glimpsed Jerusalem. Over 12 days in late November 1917 it was the scene of fierce fighting, before it was finally taken by the British. The day concludes with a visit to the Jerusalem CWGC and Memorial to the Missing, and the 60th Division memorial before a final evening in Jerusalem.
Morning visit to Montefiore Windmill, built by Mssrs Holman Brothers of Canterbury before heading to Tel Aviv and an onward flight to the UK.