Thirty five pupils, including myself, were privileged to go on an historical and utterly moving trip to Ypres in Belgium. For our History GCSE we are focusing on a particular Controlled Assessment, studying the ‘Features of Trench Warfare’ and what better way to understand this aspect of the work than actually getting a hands-on experience, or rather crawling experience in Tom McGarry’s case, through tunnels. Of course having Mr Blackabey, Mr Payne and Miss Drew’s assistance along the way did help a lot as we could develop our knowledge with the contribution of their endless understanding on the subject and the stories that hold together four years of war, if that be underground, over the top or how a group of men came to their peace.
Most of our days involved early wake ups and visits to the many historical features from the First World War including; In Flanders Field Museum where we discovered how brutal the Great War was. On one day we visited the Somme in France, exploring different routes soldiers would have taken and unfortunately for many, their place of rest.
Myself and many others found relatives in the huge memorial Cemeteries spread over Belgium and France. The experience was extremely moving, looking down at row upon row of headstones that pave the grass. You come to ask yourself why are they here? Even in this day and age countries are jumping at the chance of war, and for what advantage? Thousands if not millions of men falling at the feet of fate to serve their country.
For me, this trip is so important, for younger years to consider if you do get the opportunity in the future it will certainly ‘open your eyes’.
By Saffron Harry Year 11
“It was a huge experience, it was good that we could see what would’ve happened rather than just reading it out of a text book.”
– Tom McGarry
“The experience was so mind-blowing that it was too much to cope with at the time and I did not realise everything that I had seen until I got home.”
– Georgia Kennedy
“It was unforgettable in the sense that we witnessed something that few have seen, a great trip.”
– Johannes Black