Year 9 students had the opportunity to take part in our annual history trip to the battlefields of France and Belgium to accompany their studies on the First World War. The two-day trip gave students the chance to visit key historical locations such as Dunkirk, Thiepval Memorial and Ulster Tower. Charlotte (9M) and Lucy (9L) describe what made this year’s battlefields trip such an ‘amazing experience’.
This June, the whole of Year 9 went on the battlefields trip to Belgium and Northern France. Over the course of three days, we visited many historical WW1 sites and memorials which helped to further develop our knowledge of the war and the enormous consequences it had.
It was a very eye-opening and thought-provoking trip, that none of us will forget for a long time. One of the many moving places we visited was the biggest military cemetery in the world, Tyne Cot Memorial. We also visited the historical town of Ypres where, after some chocolate shopping, we took part in the Menin Gate Ceremony. This is a daily ceremony that has been happening since 1928 in order to continue to honour soldiers’ lives, similar to the Remembrance Day parades we have in the UK.
On the last day, we were fortunate enough to visit Newfoundland Park and Thiepval, both places that were extremely poignant. As well as historical sites, we were also given plenty of free time to explore around by ourselves and to relax in the evenings, which was spent in various ways with some people sleeping, while others played Avocado Smash and other games!
Special thanks to all the teachers that organised this trip for us, we all really appreciate it.
The Year 9 Battlefields trip was an amazing experience that revealed the true settings of war. We began our journey in the Trench of Death and – much like the trenches at the Passchendaele Museum and more – we were shaken by the thoughts that young men were living in those conditions and worse, imagining the horrors that occurred there, no matter where the trenches were.
Whilst on the trip, we also came across many memorials and the places where men were laid to rest, both Allies and Axis, which made the experience even more real as we looked at the names of real men who passed away, some as young as 15. Mrs Scott-Malden told us stories of people who played an important role in the war, both big and small to relate to the places we were visiting. On the coach before we entered Tyne Cot Memorial, our first memorial of the journey, we were given a cross with a poppy on it to place wherever we wanted throughout the time we spent there, leaving a little piece of us and our remembrance at each location.