Belgium Trip February 2018

On Friday 16th February a group of Year 11 and Year 10 history students set off to Belgium on their WWI Battlefields Trip.  After a calm sailing across the Channel we arrived in Calais and made our way over the border in to Belgium.  At sunset we arrived at Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery, which was also used as a casualty clearing station during the war. Students were surprised at the huge number of gravestones at the cemetery and the number of different countries and religions that were represented. We then made our way to the Oude Abij Hotel in Lo-Reninge and enjoyed an artefacts quiz with our tour guide Jason.

We were up very early on Saturday for our day travelling around the Ypres Salient vising various battle sites, trenches and cemeteries. Highlights of a very busy day included a trip to the Passchendaele Memorial Museum where students were able to experience life in the trenches for themselves, and a visit to Croonaert Wood Cemetery where students all laid a poppy next to a grave of a soldier. After enjoying our evening meal in an Ypres restaurant, it was time to head to the Menin Gate for the Last Post Ceremony.  Lauren, Adam and Charlotte made us all extremely proud by representing Springwell at the ceremony and laying a wreath during the service in front of hundreds of people.  It was a moving moment and made us all stop and reflect on what we had seen.

Sunday morning was spent at Sanctuary Wood trenches and at Essex Farm Cemetery and Dressing Station where John McCrae wrote the famous ‘In Flanders Fields’ poem.  It was then time to catch our ferry back to Dover.

It was a fantastic trip; the behaviour of our students was exemplary at all times, we learnt lots of new knowledge about the fighting in World War One and how soldiers were treated, the weather was stunning and we all spent several moments thinking of the sacrifice people made in the Great War.  Lest we forget.

 Looking forward to doing it all again soon!