This was a letter written to the editor of the Huntly Express in May 1930 by P.M. Smythe, Provost of St Ninian’s Cathedral, Perth.
For a year or two past the Church Army have been able to arrange a special pilgrimage to war graves in France and Belgium for people from Scotland. A similar enterprise is being undertaken this year, on July 5th, under the personal escort of Captain and Mrs Elliot, late of Perth, whose names need only be mentioned to assure old friends of the completeness of the arrangements and the interests of the visit.
This year, the pilgrimage should be of special interest to many who have never been out before, as several memorials have recently been erected to commemorate the names of those who were missing and who have no known graves. Many who have already visited graves when they were marked only by temporary wooden crosses will no doubt be glad of the opportunity to revisit them now that they are completed with stones in finished cemeteries. Each cemetery and memorial has its own individual beauty, and apart from much deeper reasons, they are all worth seeing from the artistic point of view alone.
Special cheap facilities between Scotland and London are now granted by the Railway Companies to individual Continental ticket holders. (Intending pilgrims should apply to us for details and voucher.) For this and other reasons we are arranging the pilgrimage this year from London back to London, at a completely inclusive price, covering escorted travel and full board, with no extras. Every possible assistance, however, will be offered to individuals on the journeys between Scotland and London.
Here is the programme: – Leave London Saturday July 5th at 3.15 approx. Spend night in Lille, visit cemeteries on Sunday. Return to London Monday 7th arriving about 8.30 pm. So many like to take the opportunity to visit Ypres while they are across the water that we are arranging a day’s extension of visit to Ypres, with escort, for any who wish, this party returning to London on Tuesday 8th. Last year there was a demand for a further extension to visit Paris and the Unknown Warrior’s Grave and perpetual Flame. This year such an extension is being arranged, and those taking advantage of this will return to London on Wednesday 9th. The prices per person, including extensions are: – (a) War Graves Visit only. £5.17s.6d. (b) with extension to Ypres, £6.10s.: (c) with extension to Paris £8.12s.6d.
Free military permits are granted to near relatives of deceased soldiers, but others must have passports, which cost 7s.6d. new. All applications should be made as early as possible to the Hon. Secretary, War Graves Department, Church Army Headquarters, Marble Arch, London, W.1.