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Battlefields Trip 2022

Battlefields Trip 2022

After a two year hiatus due to Covid, the History Department were delighted to be able to take 40 Fifth Form pupils and 6 staff on the Battlefields Trip, visiting the battlefields of Ypres in Belgium and the Somme in France from 15th-18th October.

Head of History, Rachel Lines, shares an account of their experience here:

“This year’s visit was as successful as ever with pupils being extremely impressive throughout in their reaction, response and engagement when visiting the various sites.

On our first day we visited the German cemetery of Langemark and English cemetery Tyne Cot, showing the human cost of WWI. However, pupils also experienced the geographical cost of the war with the impact it had upon the landscape through their visits to the Caterpillar Crater and Hill 60. At Essex Farm we were able to commemorate a relative of a pupil who was killed in a gas attack in 1915 as well as the relatives of two pupils located on the missing wall at Tyne Cot. The Last Post Ceremony at Menin Gate allowed us to show our respects and remembrance of them, and others, who lost their lives during WWI. 

The next day took us to the Somme where information from the Commonwealth Graves Commission allowed us to further investigate the stories of those individuals who fought and fell in WWI. At Delville Wood we were able to locate a family member of a pupil who served in the South African Regiment, as well as locating the relative of a pupil commemorated on Thiepval Memorial who was killed and body declared missing at Bernafay Wood. Alongside this, we were also able to visit Sheffield Memorial, Newfoundland Park and finally the Albert Communal Cemetery Extension where we were also able to reunite a pupil with their lost relative.

Whilst we could not visit the graves and sites of all the relatives of our pupils, it was wonderful to have pupils and parents contact the school prior to our visit with information on relatives that had fought in WWI, allowing us to hold them in our thoughts throughout the trip.”