Shrewsbury School

History Faculty WW1 Battlefields Tour

Tuesday 3 June 2014

Over the May coach weekend, 39 members of the Third Form travelled to northern France to visit some of the battlefields of the First World War.

Our visit to the Somme was a very moving experience. The memorial at Thiepval brought home the sacrifice made by so many young men. Almost everybody in the group could find the name of a soldier with the same surname as themselves carved into the stone wall of the monument.

From the Somme we travelled to Ypres and attended the Last Post at Menin Gate. This service has been held at Ypres since 1927 (during the Second World War it moved temporarily to Brookwood Military Cemetery in Surrey) and it was certainly one of the highlights of the trip.

From Ypres we travelled to Verdun. Verdun was one of the bloodiest battles of the war, and in the French memory of the Great War this battle holds the same significance as the Somme does for the British. Our visit to Verdun finished with a tour of a fort, complete with underground tunnels, food stores and look out posts for the gunners. The trip back was broken up by a final stop at the Canadian National Vimy Memorial at Vimy Ridge.

The Third Form boys were an excellent group: interested, polite and respectful. The bus driver even said that they were the nicest group he had ever driven! The long coach journey certainly was a bonding experience. It is definitely possible to watch too many Blackadder episodes. With many thanks to Mr Chris Cook, Mr Dan Nicholas and Mrs Fenella Nicholas.
Laura Whittle, Head of History

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