Battlefields History Trip

Article / Posted on 13 Mar

Despite the forecast of heavy snow, 6 members of staff and 52 students led by Miss Hawkey, braved the cold conditions for a two day tour around the Western Front, for what was an incredibly moving and informative trip.

Day one consisted of viewing the differing trench systems and being able to see the stark contrast between the British and German frontlines. We also visited Hill 60, now a crater, showing the devastation of modern warfare but exemplifying to the students the knowledge that they had studied for their GCSE. We were able to locate several relatives to students at Knole Academy at Tyne Cote cemetery which really showed how close warfare is to us, even 100 years on. In the face of the cold conditions, students still managed to enjoy their day, defrosting somewhat in Ypres with the prospect of chocolate shopping ahead of them!  We ended day one at the Menin gate, to the sound of bugle players, who provided a moving service in memorial to the men who gave their lives.

Day two was another jam packed day, an early start, now approximately two hours from Ypres in the Somme region of France, our first stop was the Sunken Lane, the Somme battlefield and Hawthorne Crater – the stark realities of warfare came home to the students especially when they were stood in the bottom of a massive manmade crater. Several stops later, having visited a lovely French café to warm up and learn more about the equipment and injuries on the Western Front, we visited some of the commonwealth areas of the battlefields; seeing first-hand the impact that our global cousins had allowed the students to appreciate the massive effort of the First World War.

We ended our second day at Thiepval Memorial; this impressive monument to over 70000 men saw the attending students reflect on their trip and the knowledge that they had gained. The expertise of our tour guides allowed the students to fully understand what it is that they had learnt in their GCSE studies, and after their final address, and at the going down of the sun, we laid a wreath on behalf of the school, in memory of the great sacrifice made by the soldiers of the western front.

Miss Hawkey
Subject Leader History

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