A family in search of Uncle Arthur.. Private Arthur Bellis. 2nd South Lancs. Died of wounds 12 April 1918 age 19 years. Ploegsteert Memorial.
“I can’t fully explain how outstanding our trip was with you to Ypres. We wanted to trace the final moments of my Uncle Arthur and booked a bespoke tour of the area with yourself. What you delivered Jon was so much more than that. You have such a depth of knowledge and you kept us entertained with amazing stories and facts, the places we visited were truly brought to life. You took the time to engage with my children and they were kept so interested. To be able to follow that last day of my Uncle’s life to a moment where we could say, ‘this field, this patch of land is where he most likely fell’ was incredible. Every cemetery you took us to, you could regale a fascinating story about a person buried there. We never felt rushed, you couldn’t have given us a more perfect time. If anybody is thinking of booking a WW1 tour, I would highly recommend you, you are a brilliant guide and a genuinely nice guy. Myself and my family will never forget this, thank you.”
Paul, Cath, Lorna & Jack Bellis
A Relative Search.. To Duisans British Cemetery & The Vis en Artois Memorial
“We went to pay our respects to two relatives who we knew had fought and died in Arras but we had little other information on their lives. With Jon’s research and knowledge we were able to pay our respects to William Herbert Hills (11th Middlesex) and Robert William Cotton (1st/13th Kensington). More than that though, he was able to bring their stories to life and we learnt about how they lived, fought and about the ultimate sacrifice that they paid. Jon offers a totally bespoke service that made the whole trip so informative, moving and tailored to our needs. Using his trench maps, we even stood in the fields of Arras above the former trenches where our relatives fought. We highly recommend Jon and can’t imagine a better way to visit the battlefields.”
Chris Cotton & The Morton Family.
In the footsteps of Corporal Alf Bloomfield MM. 2nd Durham Light Infantry. The Kaiser’s Battle. 21 March 1918.
“My Dad and I cannot thank you enough for helping us to exceed our wildest expectations. We had hoped to get near to the scene of my grandfather’s actions on 21st March 1918 in the Morchies sector, but never thought that we would get to the point where we felt that we were actually retracing his footsteps exactly one hundred years on from that day. You managed to bring history back to life for us and we are now able to fully understand what occurred on that fateful day at the beginning of the Kaiserschlacht. Both my Dad and I agree that you gave us an absolutely first class service, going way beyond what we expected.
We have no doubts that we could not have found a finer guide.”
Richard and Eric Bloomfield
Following Grandfather, Daniel Crawford Black. 1st Battalion Gordon Highlanders.
“I really do need to thank you for your support and guidance during the arrangement and expedition of our reminiscence trip to Arras and area. We had a very good time, despite the cold, and we have, absolutely, learned a great deal about the experience of our grandfather in 1918. It gave us all a proper perspective on the things he used to talk about, and quite frankly has deepened our respect for him and his colleagues in the 1st Gordons.
Many, many thanks again for all your help with a superb trip.”
Maurice White and Family.
With the British Army in the field. A Battlefield study from the Somme to Arras.
Jon is the most knowledgeable person I have ever met on this subject and provided us with an informative and knowledgeable tour. He is very different from normal tour guides as he has met a lot of soldiers who were there and knows their stories so instead of the generic “this happened here let’s move on” he could bring each part of the battlefield alive with personal stories from people who were actually there. He also knows of all the tiny cemeteries hidden away and why they are in such remote locations. The tour was able to be adapted to incorporate those who wished to visit the graves of relatives, which was an added bonus.
I would highly recommend Jon any day of the week to take you on a battlefield tour and help keep the memories of such a terrible war alive.
Staff Sergeant Vicky McCreadie
245 Squadron. 14 Signal Regiment.
Finding Great Uncle.. Private Robert Winrow. 1st Btn Royal Welsh Fusiliers. Killed in action Bullecourt 4 May 1917
“He was never found. That was all I knew. I wanted to go and lay a wreath but where was Arras? How did I get there? I needed a Battlefield Guide. It was then I came across Jon Nicholls on the internet and what a find he turned out to be!
He took us to the Memorial at Arras where I laid my wreath. We also found his name on the memorial at Notre Dame de Lorette. Jon also took us to the field at Bullecourt where Robert fell and explained what his regiment had done. To say that was moving was an understatement. I will never forget that moment for the rest of my life. I will never be able to thank Jon enough for what he did. His knowledge of the Battlefields is enormous.
Jon was a fantastic guide who I recommend to everyone!”
Looking for Grandad.. Private Daniel McClelland. 7/8 Royal Irish Fusiliers. Tunnel Trench. 20 November 1917.