Expedition 'Red Crown 2013' - No 3 Welsh Wing Battlefield Tour


Normandy & The D-Day Beaches____________________________________________________________________

Following the success of battlefield tours to Normandy in 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011 by cadets of No.3 Welsh Wing, we are pleased to be able to offer another Normandy tour in 2013.  Exercise ‘Red Crown 2013’ will take place 10-18 August 2013.  The primary aim of the expedition is to give you a greater appreciation of the sacrifices made by our communities during the liberation of Europe 1944-45.

The group will have seven full days in France, touring the D-Day landing beaches and the beautiful countryside inland.  We will visit places that are synonymous with history, such as Pegasus Bridge, Sword, Juno, Gold, Omaha and Utah Beaches, the ‘Mulberry’ Harbour at Arromanches, the cliff-top battery at Point du Hoc, the Merville Battery, Sainte Mère-Église, Villers-Bocage, Bayeux, Caen and Falaise.   

We will walk the beaches and battlefields, hearing the story of the Normandy Campaign as presented by our guides.  Even sixty years on, it is still possible to find the signs of battle – German trenches, bunkers and emplacements, tanks and armoured vehicles, memorials, bullet-holes, shattered buildings and even the veterans themselves, who are often willing to tell their own personal story.

The group will also undertake ceremonial duties while in Normandy; parading (including one day in uniform), laying wreaths and playing the ‘Last Post’ at cemeteries and memorials in memory of those who made the supreme sacrifice.

For those cadets who have been before (and there quite a few who want to come again for a second or third time!), we will be adding quite a few new items to the itinerary, in line with the feedback received from cadets following the last two Normandy camps.  For example, we will spend one of the days walking and studying one battle in very close detail, to give the cadets a very detailed picture of what it was like to take part in a battle, deep in the hedgerows and orchards of the Norman countryside.

But it won’t be all ‘War, War, War!’  There will also be plenty of time for the group to relax and immerse themselves in a foreign culture, language, and (if they’re brave) the cuisine.  There will be plenty of chances for shopping in Bayeux, Caen and Falaise and those cities hold plenty of cultural delights (yes, some teenagers do enjoy such things), such as the Bayeux Tapestry, the tomb of William the Conqueror and Falaise Castle.  If the weather is good to us we will also spend some time on the beach, soaking up the sun for once, rather than history and culture.  We will also end the week with a traditional three-course Norman meal (though pizza is available for the faint-hearted).

Accommodation will be tented (utilising military 12x12 foot tents and folding camp beds) and the camp site is the superb, four-star Château de Martragny, which is just to the east of Bayeux and is right in the heart of the area to be explored.  The Château de Martragny has excellent facilities, including swimming pool, restaurant and internet café.  The Château also holds special interest for us, as it was the HQ and Officers’ Mess of an RAF tactical airfield throughout the Normandy Campaign.

The expedition will cost £300 per person (which compares favorably to other overseas ATC camps).  This price includes all travel, accommodation, activities and meals, including a traditional three-course meal in a French restaurant to end the week. 

Further information and all application forms have been sent to your squadron staff, so please request copies from them. 

A completed Red Crown Application Proforma, plus Consent Form CC1, Medical Questionnaire Form CC3 (and Medical Declaration Form CC4 if you listed any medical conditions on Form CC3), plus the deposit of £50 will need to be received by the Officer in Charge of the exercise by 31 January 2013 – your own squadron will obviously require it to be handed in before that date, so that they have time to pass it on to us.  Please make cheques payable to ‘1574 Red Crown Account’.  The final balance of £250 will be required by 31 May 2013, along with your passport number, if you haven’t already given it to us by then.

Finally, we will require a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) number for every cadet before we depart for France.  If you don’t already have one, you can obtain EHIC application forms from your local Post Office (along with passport application forms), or you may apply for one on-line.

We sincerely hope that we can accommodate everyone who wishes to come on this expedition.  We can absolutely guarantee that it will be fun as well as informative!  Every cadet who attended the last four expeditions told us that they thoroughly enjoyed it and many even told us that it was the best camp they’d ever been on.  Photo-albums of previous Normandy Camps can be found here:

Red Crown 2010

Red Crown 2011

If you require any more information, please call/text the Officer In Charge of the camp, Flight Lieutenant Mark Davies on 01437 563060 or 07970 861197 or e-mail at oc.1429@aircadets.org  

Once your place on the camp has been confirmed, please post all additional forms and balance cheques directly to the officer in charge: Mr R M Davies, 3 Station Terrace, Clunderwen, Narberth, Pembrokeshire SA66 7NG.  An e-mailed copy of your application forms would also be very helpful.

We hope you can join us where the poppies grow.

Flt Lt Mark Davies (OC 1429 Sqn)

Flt Lt Chris Jones (OC 1574 Sqn)


Article kindly supplied by: Flt Lt Mark Davies (OC 1429) Sqn

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