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Sir Henry Newbolt

'The Gatling's jammed and the colonel dead, And the regiment blind with dust and smoke. The river of death has brimmed his banks, And England's far, and Honour a name, But the voice of schoolboy rallies the ranks, "Play up! play up! and play the game!"

Sir Henry Newbolt's Vitai Lampada, 1892.

How did the sons of the aristocracy fare in the Great War? There has been something of a preconception, particularly perhaps, in the former Dominions that the ruling class stayed at home in their decaying mansions and let their gamekeepers, the farm labourers and the industrial working class do the dying. In fact, it is estimated that in terms of the loss of its young men, the Great War was the greatest catastrophe to befall the British aristocracy since the Wars of the Roses four hundred years earlier.

Many of the junior officers, who the presumptions of class and education assumed were born to lead, were Public School boys who went almost straight from school or university to the front. Behind the lines they had

better food and clothes and servants in the style of Downton Abbey, but on the battlefield the average life-span for these young newly commissioned officers was about six weeks.Their casualty rate was extraordinarily high. Eton, whose playing fields were said to prepare the victories of Britain saw 5,660 boys go to war, 1,157 of them - more than 20 per cent - were killed. That's about twice the rate for the British army overall. One of the reasons was that their education and expectation was that they would lead from the front in the tradition praised by the British patriotic poets of Victoria's reign, like Sir Henry Newbolt.

View a short film from courtesy of Farmers Weekly that explains how the trench scenes in Downton Abbey were created.

Find out about our 19 day tour of Britain's Downton Era departing August 2015. One highlight of the program is a guided tour of Highclere, which is already fully booked for group visits in both 2014 and 2015. In addition a tour of the newly opened Imperial War Museum to explore the imact of the Great War on Britain during the Downton Era is also included.

Visit Get Up & Go magazine for your chance to win two places on this unique tour !

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2017 Guaranteed Departures

2017 Guaranteed Departures

We are very pleased to be able to guarantee the following tours for 2017.

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Early Booking Discount

Early Booking Discount

Although, our Early Booking Discount for tours departing before mid-August 2017 has expired, Early Booking Discounts are still available for all later 2017 tours. We look forward to receiving your…

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Meet Our Program Leaders

Meet Our Program Leaders

Our Program Leaders are based in Australia and New Zealand, so have an understanding of the needs of our Australian and New Zealand participants. They are all well-travelled with a…

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Refer a Friend Rewards

Refer a Friend Rewards

Receive a $200 discount off any Golden Compass tour when your friends or family book with us! Your friends will also save $100 off their own booking and there is…

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Discover Spain with Jone Gaillard - 14 September - 02 October 2017

Our Discover Spain program explores the historic links, cultures and religions of these two civilisations, as well as the great geographical and cultural diversity of Spain with its ancient and fascinating cities such as Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Granada and Seville, as well as its regions away from the traditional tourist beaches. 

 



 

Inclusive of field trips, local guides, gratuities and all meals.