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Year 9 Battlefields Trip

Over the 18 & 19th May the History Department took a group of forty two Year 9s to the World War One Battlefields around Ypres and the Somme.

The two days had a particular focus on surgery and medical treatment on the Western Front as this is part of the new GCSE.

After a very early departure from Broxbourne we crossed under the Channel and straight into the German Bayernwald trench system where our guides described life in the trenches and how soldiers would have tried to keep themselves clean, using just one mess tin of water each day. During the two days, students learnt about the different weapons used, such as poison gas and some had the chance to try on the various types of gas masks.

The tour company had located the resting place of one of our students great great great uncle and we did a quick detour to visit the memorial where his name is engraved, which made the visit more personal.

We also visited the  German Military Cemetery at Langemark and the largest Allied cemetery at Tyne Cot and discussed the differences between the cemeteries of the two sides. After a dinner of roasted chicken and chips in Ypres, we went to watch the Last Post Ceremony at the Menin Gate, which has happened there almost every night since WWI.

Day two saw the students focus on the Somme with a visit to the Lochnager Crater, an example of the devastating effect of underground mines in WWI. This was followed by a visit to the Caribou memorial for the Newfoundland regiment from Canada. In addition, we visited the site of a field hospital at Sunken Lane to gain an appreciation of where injured soldiers were treated i.e. in the open air! 

The final stop was a poignant visit to the Thiepval Memorial to the missing soldiers, where students had the opportunity to reflect on what they had experienced and lay a poppy wreath as a mark of respect from The Broxbourne School to those who had paid the ultimate sacrifice for their country.

For more photos, please go to the Galleries page on our website.