Upper Fourth tour Ypres Battlefields
Just before the half term break, the Upper Fourth set off for Belgium for a tour of the battlefields and cemeteries around the medieval town of Ypres where so many important and decisive battles were fought during the First World War.
Whilst they were there, one of the girls laid a poppy wreath in memory of her Great Great Grandfather and all the soldiers who died in the World Wars.
Phoebe Huntington, Upper Fourth reports on their trip which was organised by the History Department.
“On Saturday 20th May, the Upper Fourth set off for Belgium on a battlefield tour. We got there late that night, had some dinner after stopping off at our hotel and went to sleep. The next day we woke up at 7:30am and got ready for our busy day.
We first went to the trenches, it was amazing to walk through them knowing what had happened there 100 years ago. They still had original ammunition and barbed wire used in the Great War. Then we went to Tyne Cot Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery and saw the graves of 12,000 soldiers, many of whom are unidentified. Their graves simply say ‘Known unto God’. It was a beautiful place and it was nice to see these soldiers being honoured like that, given all they had been through.
After Tyne Cot, we went to a German cemetery where 44,000 soldiers lay. It was slightly sadder as there was a huge mass grave for 22,000 unidentified men and grave markers with up to ten soldiers in each grave.
Our last stop was the Menin Gate which was a giant monument with the name of every Commonwealth soldier whose burial place is unknown. I found it very moving to see the sheer number of names inscribed on it. It was an amazing trip that we all really enjoyed.”