Arras Battlefield Tours

Personally guided tours of the battlefields of the Great War 1914-18
with Jonathan Nicholls

Houdain Lane 2015“I have spent half of my life working as an academic in the university sector, both in the UK and Ireland and very rarely have I come across a professional academic with the depth of command of their subject as you have over the history of the Arras battlefield. Your stories of the people who fought and died on it, really brought it to life for us”
Professor Roger Whatmore.
Imperial College

Jonathan Nicholls is an independent guide to the battlefields of the Western Front 1914-18, with over 40 years experience. He specialises in taking small groups of 1-10 persons from the UK, on private and personal, ‘bespoke’ tours to the Battlefields of the Great War. (see his testimonial page)

He is also available to professional tour & travel companies and in the Centenary years 2014-2018, was the principal guide for Travel Editions which conducts tours for the Daily Telegraph and Guardian Newspapers.

With a unique knowledge of the old action spots, he is in constant demand as a battlefield guide and led his first tour to the Somme in 1978 with a battlefield group formed by London Police Officers, known as the ‘Hampstead Pals’ of which he is the founder.  He also loves that corner of northern France, which is so historically and emotionally connected to the people of Britain and her Commonwealth.  Canadian and Australian visitors to the battlefields are his speciality.

Jon Nicholls is recommended as a guide by the
Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Jon Nicholls with 4X4 Range RoverThe long-awaited Centenary of the Great War 2014-2018 has now passed but not the demand for pilgrimages to the battlefields. More people than ever are enquiring how they can best visit the old action spots in France and Belgium and the graves of lost relatives. Jon has a deep knowledge of these sacred places and of the great battles that still jar our conscience today. He also operates from home as a researcher, specializing in individual soldiers and units, incorporating his extensive library and collection of private papers. Now is the time to plan your personal pilgrimage. The Centenary may be over but remembrance continues.

Arras & Hertfordshire based

Cheerful Sacrifice Book Cover

Cheerful Sacrifice

Arras & Hertfordshire based

Jon has held a lifelong interest in the First World War since his childhood. Both of his grandfathers served in the Infantry on the Western Front. He is based in Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire and is regularly in Arras, his second home and a great base for also visiting the Somme and Ypres.  He is the author of the highly acclaimed,  ‘Cheerful Sacrifice The Battle of Arras 1917’ (Pen & Sword 1990) which is still in print (Amazon & other good bookshops) and has gone to nine editions. It is the definitive account of The Battle of Arras 1917, using the original stories of many veteran soldiers whom he sought out in the 1970s and 1980s. He is honoured to have known personally, over 300 veterans of the Great War, several of whom, accompanied him to France when researching for his book in the early eighties and with whom he became close friends. Consequently, his expert narrative on the battlefields is littered with unique soldiers’ stories and colourful anecdotes, some sad, some bloody, many funny. Quite simply, the British Army at war.

Jonathan Nicholls in his library

Jonathan Nicholls in his library

He is a retired Metropolitan Police Officer and also works as a musician (see Mixed Feelings) when not on the battlefields.  He is an original member of the Western Front Association (10) Gallipoli Association and a Friend of the Imperial War Museum.

Major 1914-18 battlefields covered:

Other historical British battlefields which can be visited en-route to the Western Front, include Agincourt, Crecy, Amiens, Waterloo, Wormhout, Cassell, Calais (1940).