Lest We Forget Battlefield Tours - Flanders
Our mission is to provide dedicated pilgrimage or battlefield touring for up to 4 persons maximum per PRIVATE group. It includes the use of top spec touring vehicle with dedicated company battlefield guide.
We also hold the requisite local authority touring company licence along with obligatory commercial licence plate, ensuring our clients´ inclusive insurance policy is maintained, valid and legal.
Ypres VVB Licence No 1401
Commercial plate: T-LAA-341
OUR WONDERFUL CLIENTS:
Please click on the below link to see images of our clients:
YOUR TOUR/PILGRIMAGE MANAGER & HER DEDICATED ASSISTANTS:
Owner/Tour manager: Milena Kolarikova - Lock BA (Tourism management)
Milena was born in Prague, Czechoslovakia but re-located to Amsterdam, acquired Dutch dual nationality. She studied at the "De Hogeschool Holland" in Diemen / Amsterdam and was awarded a "Bachelor of Arts" degree with honours in tourism management in 1995. She is fluent in several languages including English.
Milena worked for over 20 years as a tour manager for the British Cosmos/Globus Gateway and the Canadian Rostad Tours companies.
Once Milena receives your enquiry, she will offer advice on travel, fees and your pilgrimage/tour itinerary.
In 2010, Milena was awarded Her Majesty's Britannic Ambassador to Belgium Commendation as co-founder of the TANK MEMORIAL YPRES SALIENT.
In 2011 she was awarded honorary life membership in the Association of Czechoslovak Legionaries Abroad with seat in Cholmondeley, UK, for her contribution to this veterans´ association.
She is also member of the Czechoslovak Legionaries Association in Prague, Czech Republic. She frequently joins their commemoration and remembrance journeys home and abroad.
In 2012, Milena received Czech award for her dedicated remembrance work.
This particular official medal was designed to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the most heroic and patriotic act of the Czechoslovak resistance during WW II, namely the assassination of the third man of the Third Reich - Heydrich in so-called "Operation Anthropoid". It was awarded to Milena for her patriotic work contributing to modern Czechoslovak history.
On Friday 31st January 2014, during a special ceremony held in Prague, Milena was presented the "Czech Patriot 2013" award. Another recipient in absentia was the President of the Czech Republic, Miloš Zeman.
Clockwise from top left:
Milena receiving the award; with three befriended Czechoslovak WW II veterans; group photo with other recipients of the Czech Patriot award; listening to speeches.
Left: The Czech Patriot Award is made of layered Czech glass in the colours of the Czech tricolor - white, red and blue.
Engraved along the lower front are the words
"Czech Patriot 2013"
Milena's name is engraved on the forward sloping front.
A diploma signed by the ANLET President completes the award.
On 11 November 2014, special ceremony took place in the Military History Museum in Prague, Czech Republic - the unveiling of the original CWGC headstone commemorating Dominick Naplava. Pioneer Naplava was a Czech, who went to Canada, where he enlisted in the CEF. He then shipped to Europe and fought in the Great War battlefields for his dream of future home country Czechoslovakia. He was killed on 12 November 1917 near Zonnebeke, his grave lost in the later battles.
Naplava´s memorial headstone in Tyne Cot CWGC cemetery near Ypres was marked for replacement by the CWGC in 2014. Milena noticed it and saw the chance of acquiring this symbolic patriotic headstone for the Czech Republic. She approached the CWGC and Col. Knížek, director of the Military History Institute and Military Museum in Prague, with whose great support a permission was granted by the director of CWGC to loan this particular headstone to the Military Museum in Prague - the only museum in the world which exhibits a CWGC headstone with the name of the fallen soldier.
After almost a century, Dominick symbolically returned home.
Above left & right: Mission completed.
Our company was recently tasked to create a WW2 report concerning the air and ground war around the town of Ypres as seen from the Czechoslovak view point.
This report recently went out on Czech mainstream news channels during the nation's WW2 commemorations. We are most pleased!!
C Sqn 3 RTR tank crewmen including Chris (center front) await debrief on conclusion of "Excercise Mayflower" Salisbury plain, Tidworth.
C Sqn 3 RTR Chieftain Main Battle Tanks prepare to leave the tank park at the start of the above exercise.
Just so many names, so many names....
As the Principal Guide of Lest We Forget Battlefield Tours (Flanders)
Chris will often be found escorting dedicated individuals & groups around the former WW1 & WW2 battlefields.
Chris first donned military uniform whilst still at school with his local Army Cadet Force, achieving the rank of Cadet/Staff Sergeant.
On leaving school & the ACF and still at only 15 years of age, Chris successfully secured a coveted place within the Junior Leaders Regiment Royal Armoured Corps before proudly concluding his collective 5 year military contract with the
3rd Royal Tank Regiment, mostly in the roll of Chieftain Main Battle Tank &
Ferret Armoured Car driver/gunner.
Operational deployments during the mid 70's included "Operation Banner
" (Northern Ireland) "Operation Tosca
" (United Nations Peace Keeping Forces in Cyprus) "BAOR
" (British Army of the Rhine) West Germany and live fire Battlegroup training at "BATUS
" British Army Training Unit Suffield, Canada.
However it was with Avon Fire and Rescue Service
that Chris would secure a career lasting almost 27 years as a firefighter & Crew Commander.
Today Chris maintains his Fire Service link by maintaining membership with the "National Association of Retired Firefighters"
Chris is most proud to have served the best part of his life in the defence and protection of the realm. Today he ensures that those others who sacrificed all which was dear to them on behalf of the freedoms we all enjoy today are never forgotten.
In 2010 Chris & Milena received Her Majesty's Britannic Ambassador to Belgium Commendations on behalf of their dedicated work as founders of the
TANK MEMORIAL YPRES SALIENT.
Chris & Milena are also recognised as joint founders of the "In their Memory" memorial plaque located on the Hotel Regina in Ypres, eventually brought to conclusion by the town's Royal Entente organisation.
Please see the WW2 tours page for further details concerning this memorial plaque.
Our chosen charities/fund and dedicated loyal little helpers:
Blaze Bear, Dunstan Bear & Tankie Ted relaxing off duty at Bear Barracks.
The intrepid members of Teds Troop safely secured during their unit's recent pilgrimage deployment. The troop have actually been requested to accompany some of our clients during their battlefield explorations and pilgrimage visits.
So pleased and so proud to have placed this amount into the coffers of
Blind Veterans UK in 2015 so far.
Dunstan the blinded bear always does his utmost to bring to public awareness the dedicated work of the Blind Veterans UK charity, formerly St Dunstans which was born on the battlefields of France & Flanders.
Tankie Ted represents:
The Royal Tank Regiment Benevolent fund and may be seen in the group image wearing Chris's own minature Army/Fire Service medal group:
Blaze Bear represents the amazing Firefighters Charity which in the past has offered Chris great assistance and still continues to do so. Firefighters have always paid the ultimate price and especially during two world wars. Today they continue to protect us & often require physical or psychological help & assistance no less than military personnel likewise. Blaze
proudly wears Chris's Grandfather's WW2 minature Defence Medal awarded
for his WW2 AFS/NFS firefighting service during the 1940-41 Blitz and throughout the war.
Many military, civil defence personnel & their families continue to require care & assistance from these dedicated charities when the state cannot or will not assist.
Teds Troop will continue to do their bit on behalf of those who protect and defend us whenever needed! Lest they forget.
IN MEMORY OF “BROTHERS IN ARMS”
Private Leonard George Holder, Somerset Light Infantry.
Killed in action during the Battle of Mount Sorrel 13/6/1916
Gunner Harold Alec Holder, Royal Field Artillery.
A casualty of war who suffered to the end.
This painting represents the maternal grandfather to Chris and younger brother to
Leonard. Driver/Gunner Harold Alec Holder was conscripted into the
Royal Field Artillery and served on the Western Front throughout 1918.
Physically he survived despite being wounded before being finally laid to rest aged 53 in St Peter's churchyard, Frampton Cotterell, Gloucestershire.
A casualty suffering to the end.
This painting represents fallen maternal great uncle to Chris & brother to Harold revealed above left. Pte Leonard George Holder age 20, KIA 13 June 1916 whilst serving with
the 7th Battalion Somerset Light Infantry & today buried alongside fallen comrades in Vlamertinge Military CWGC cemetery near Ypres.