A group of around 30 students recently visited the World War One battlefields and commemoration sites in Belgium.

As part of the three day visit, students visited the Sheffield Memorial Park and listened to accounts of what happened to the Accrington pals. They visited some of their graves at Queens Cemetery and spent time reflecting on what it must have been like for the men and their families. They also visited the Thiepval Memorial and Newfoundland Park.

At the Menin Gate all students watched the last post, whilst 3 of our students were selected to lay a wreath on behalf of the school. Another student had the honour of reading the ‘exhortation,’ a truly amazing experience both for her and for the rest of the group to watch.

canadianmemorialThe students visited Hill 60 and spent time looking inside the pill boxes, whilst learning about the frontline changing hands. Caterpillar Crater was a spectacular sight, with lots of photo opportunities. Tears were shed at the Tyne Cot Military Cemetery, where all felt compelled to sign the visitor’s book. At Sanctuary Wood, the students experienced a little of what life would have been like in the trenches and how soldiers ended up with ‘trench foot’.

Finally, no tour to Belgium is complete without a trip to the Chocolate shop. The students had an amazing time and some are wanting to return again next year.