History students boost First World War knowledge with trip to Ypres
Year 9 History pupils brought their learning to life with a one-day visit to the First World War battlefields in Ypres, Belgium earlier this month.
This valuable trip enabled pupils to see the sites of some of the most important First World War battles for themselves, with a focus on the battle of Passchendaele.
Sites visited included Tyne Cot Cemetery which, with its 12,000 graves, is the largest Commonwealth cemetery in the world. Pupils also visited Langemark German cemetery, genuine trench remains, a museum reflecting trench life and the Menin Gate memorial, as well as Ypres town centre.
Pupils got a lot out of the trip, with many saying it made it easier for them to imagine what life had been like for First World War soldiers. Ilana said: ‘Seeing where [the soldiers] actually fought, and the cemeteries, was really fascinating.’
Natasha P. added: ‘This trip really touched me on a personal level. When I saw the trenches, I was amazed; to see it in real life made me understand it from the soldiers’ view. It was overwhelming and I felt emotions I hadn’t explored before.’
The 12-hour return trip by coach did little to diminish pupils’ enthusiasm, with many enjoying the bonding aspect of the long journey.
As Senior School Head Mrs Waite noted: ‘St Albans to Belgium and back in a day – no mean feat.’