Tour review by John Babbage
World War Two Heritage
|Kanchanaburi War Cemetery|
We decided to make this trip as memorable as possible for the veterans, their wives and their siblings. With the veterans' average age being around 90, we were conscious of the fact that the chances of these fine, esteemed gentlemen returning here again were quite slim.
Our pre tour efforts involved spending weeks on extensive and exhaustive letter writing and PR, as well as pleas for cooperation from sympathetic ex-pats.
We managed to put together a special, genuinely unique tour, which we can say with total modesty would be hard to emulate by any other tour planner anywhere, not to mention keeping it within a tight budget. Our tour price came to £1800.00. The only similar tour we could find, without all the add-ons we provided, amounted to £2500.00
|Singapore Krenji Cemetary|
VE Day Service at the War Memorial, Kanchanaburi War Cemetery, and then a poignant, off-the-cuff chat with Victor Vale, survivor, Burma rail road.
The last 2 nights of our visit were spent at the 5-star 'Sheraton Orchid' with luxury riverside rooms. Our hosts for the duration of our stay were the brilliant duo of Mr James and Mrs Noi Fanning. James, who is an an ex-pat, and his charming wife looked after the vets throughout. James and Noi gave up their time voluntarily to cater and organise all the localised trips and absolutely everything was laid on by this wonderful couple.
I am eternally grateful to them, as well as to Mathew in Singapore, for taking some of the strain off me. Being a pensioner myself, this did prove to be a pretty exhausting, although very worthwhile, trip.
(Photos and videos will be added to the website soon, in the meantime you can see some of them here.)
Please feel free to redistribute this article, as it shows the great work still being done for our WW2 veterans. Mr Babbage did a tremendous job putting together this tour and he hopes to be able to do many more of a similar nature. Heroes Return 2 Lottery funding for battlefield, commemorative and memorial tours is available until January 2012 for WW2 veterans, their spouses and, in some cases, their carers, too.