More than one hundred Year 7 students made the long journey to the First World War battlefields in Belgium to commemorate the start of the war and to pay their own tribute to the soldiers who lost their lives during the conflict of 1914-1918.
This was our second ‘annual’ visit to the battlefields – this time involving an overnight stay in Belgium.
Travelling through the night, students and teachers caught the early-morning ferry from Dover to Dunkirk. A calm crossing enabled pupils to go on deck and see for themselves the famous White Cliffs of Dover.
From Dunkirk, students made their way to the ‘Trench of Death’ museum and the Tyne Cot cemetery, near to the town of Ypres in Belgium. The Ypres salient witnessed some of the bloodiest battles of the Great War. The ‘Trench of Death’ is preserved just as it was left when the war ended in 1918. The experience was made all the more poignant by the fact that red poppies were in flower all around the trench.
Tyne Cot military cemetery allowed students time to reflect on what they had learnt. They located the grave of Private Thomas Roberts, a local volunteer, aged 29 when he died.
Students and staff took part in a service of remembrance. After wreaths were laid, students shared a moment of silent reflection before departing. Other visitors to Tyne Cot also joined in, taking the time to pay their own respects.