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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Dr Peter Stanley to lead Anzac Day battlefield tour

One of Australia's most respected military historians will, for the first time, escort a battlefield tour to France for Anzac Day 2011. Dr Peter Stanley was the principal historian at the Australian War Memorial for 20 years and is now the Head of the Centre for Historical Research at the National Museum of Australia. He is a popular author and television presenter and has an unrivalled knowledge of the experiences of Australian soldiers during the First World War. 'On historic battlefields military history comes alive,' Dr Stanley said. 'With the help of maps, photos and our imaginations we can understand so much more than we can from just reading about it.'

The highlight of the tour will be the Anzac Day Dawn Service on the battlefield at Villers-Bretonneux, an experience shared by many Australians whose ancestors fought and died in the area. 'I love learning about history on the spot, and am looking forward to talking with descendants at places like Ypres and Fromelles,' Dr Stanley said. 'I'm excited to be sharing stories of Australians on the Western Front - it's a great privilege to be able to do this in their company.' The tour will also visit Hill 60, site of the massive mine explosion in June 1917 that featured in the recent feature film Beneath Hill 60. The hill still bears the scars from the conflict, including a massive crater formed by the explosion of the mine.

Dr Stanley will be travelling as a historian with Mat McLachlan Battlefield Tours, Australia's battlefield specialists. The first-class 9-night Anzac Day on the Western Front tour begins in Paris on April 18, 2011 and visits all the key Australian battlefields in France and Belgium. Tours of Paris, Versailles, Champagne and Bruges are also included, as are tips, many meals, 3- and 4-star accommodation and more. The tour costs $3797 per person, twin share, land only. Mat McLachlan Battlefield Tours also offers a range of discounted airfares for passengers joining its group tours. Phone 1300 880 340 or visit www.battlefields.com.au for more information.

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