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History Trip to Battlefields
On the last Sunday of half term, forty seven Fifth Formers and five members of staff embarked on the annual trip to the Battlefields of World War One. Following a blustery crossing we started the trip by visiting Vimy Ridge as the sun set, a pivotal site for the Canadian forces during the battle of Arras, before settling in to our accommodation closer to Ypres at the Messines Peace Village. Day two was spent exploring the Ypres Salient before witnessing the Last Post ceremony at the Menin Gate, and on day three the group travelled to the Somme battlefield to visit the numerous cemeteries and monuments that are spread across the countryside. Below are the thoughts of two of the pupils who took part in this year’s trip:
As a student writing my GCSE coursework I found the trip incredibly helpful in providing me with interesting information to include in my essay, on top of the set syllabus we are taught in the classroom. Also, aside from purely educational enrichment, the trip provided a huge deal of perspective on the vast scale of the losses during the war and the impact it has had on all countries involved, even to this day. In particular, the visit to the Devonshire cemetery. Seeing those friends who died together stopped me seeing the losses as pure statistics and showed that they were each individual lives, with their own families and loved ones, that were given for our country.
I really enjoyed the history trip. I found it an eye opening experience and learnt a lot. I thoroughly enjoyed the visit to Tyne cot cemetery and found it a really moving experience seeing the 12,000 graves. Furthermore, the visit to menin gate was also incredibly striking experience.
Reporting by Tom Marriott, Head of History