David O'Keefe + Joël Stoppels
The Black Watch Battlefield Tour
- Normandy - Dieppe - the Scheldt - Nijmegen - Groningen -
with historian & professor David O’Keefe
Driving through the Bocage of Normandy
Jul 13 - Jul 23
The highly prestigious Royal Highland Regiment of Canada (The Black Watch), one of Canada's most famous regiments, were virtually wiped out during "Operation Spring" on July 25th, 1944 - but their remarkable story of strength, tragedy, and determination against all odds doesn't end here.
Join us, with lead tour guide, historian and professor David O'Keefe, and special guest guide Joël Stoppels on this special journey retracing the footsteps of Canada's most prestigous regiments from the beaches of Normandy to the Liberation in Groningen.
tours led by David O'Keefe
David O'Keefe served as an infantry officer in the Royal Highland Regiment (The Black Watch of Canada) in Montreal and was later employed as their official historian for nearly a decade - who better to lead us on this much anticipated tour?
The Black Watch Tour Info
Destinations: France, Belgium & the Netherlands
Tour Dates: July 13th - July 23rd
Flight departure: [July 12th, to Heathrow LHR]
Flight return: [JULY 23rd, from Paris CDG]
News & Updates about this tour
The Black Watch Tour Map & Outline
^^^ Explore by scrolling through the cities we will be visiting, and zoom in to get familiar with where we will be visiting on this tour.
Join us to explore + honour the story of the Black Watch Regiment - from the shores of D-Day to the Liberation of the Netherlands
Enjoy beautiful, independent, superior tourist class accommodation throughout our stay with our favourite hoteliers
Extended orientations at Juno, Verrieres, Dieppe, in the Scheldt, Nijmegen, and Groningen
A special opportunity to the Liberation of the City of Groningen with our local battlefield host Joël Stoppels
Executive coach transportation, with washrooms, air conditioning, and now ozone filtration!
Join our long time Battlefield team, along with the guidance of professor and historian David O’Keefe throughout the tour
The Black Watch Tour | Itinerary
-- Tuesday, July 12th 2022
Depart from Toronto's Lester B Pearson Airport on your overnight flight to Paris CDG Airport. [Dinner and breakfast will be served onboard]
Day 1 - Wednesday, July 13th
This morning, upon arrival into Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport you’ll greet the team, including our guide, historian and professor David O’Keefe. Together, we begin our journey to Normandy, with a stop en-route to visit the place where “D-Day” began. Pegasus Bridge, located in the small town of Benouville, was assaulted in the early morning hours of June 6th,1944 by the British 6th Airborne in an incredibly daring mission to gain control of its vital position. A full orientation will be provided at the bridge - take a look at the first house liberated in France, the Café Gondree. We then head to the City of Caen for our hotel check-in. Tonight, enjoy a welcome dinner and reception. [Overnight - Caen (B, D)]
Day 2 - Thursday, July 14th
After an early breakfast this morning, we’ll head out to explore the Canadian beaches and battlefields of Normandy. We will start with a visit to the darkly notorious Abbayes des Ardennes. This 11th Century Gothic Structure became the Headquarters of the 12th SS Hitler Youth Division in the time leading up to the Allied Invasion. We continue on to Point 67. This strategic position overlooks the Battlefield of Verrieres Ridge, one of the enemy’s strongest lines of defence in all of Normandy. During “Operation Spring” on July 25th, 1944, Canada's most famous of regiments, The Black Watch of Montreal were virtually wiped out. A complete overview of this highly controversial action will be explained at different angles from those involved. We continue from Verrieres t