Upper School Choice - chess

Students Reflect on WWI in Belgium

23rd November 23

This November, Year 9 visited the battlefields in Ypres and the Somme for two days. They stood along the front line of trenches and imagined themselves in the same situations as the thousands of soldiers who had stood there years prior.

Head of History and Politics, Leon, said: “The students showed real maturity and thoughtfulness in their reflections on the war and the questions they asked. They were a credit to themselves in their conduct and approach.”

Seb in Year 9 wrote about his experiences on the trip: “We left school bright and early at 6am to head to Belgium. Our first stop was for lunch, seemingly in a normal café, but it turned out to be a museum with photos and objects from the war. Just behind it was an old First World War trench that we were lucky enough to walk around and searching through some previously secret tunnels.

The second stop was at the largest Commonwealth War Cemetery, Tyne Cot. There were thousands of graves and a long stretch of wall covered in names of soldiers whose bodies were never recovered. We searched the wall for any familiar names and eventually found an Old Alfredian, W.E.W Bamberger.

Once we had finished, we headed to the town of Ypres. We had dinner, visited a chocolate shop and walked down to the Menin Gate Arch, where the last post was being held.

The following day, we visited the Thiepval Memorial which included a vast crater in the ground, caused by a mine in the war. It was massive! After the memorial, we made our way to our final stop – another battlefield with lines of trenches. This time, though, it had been left to grow grass once more. Despite this, we could still really see the trenches along with the holes and ditches most likely made from shelling.

The trip was very memorable and I learnt a lot; the trip really helped me truly understand the effects of the First World War.”

Thank you to everyone who was involved with the organising of the trip and who accompanied the students.

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