A group of Bishop Vaughan School pupils visited World War I battlefields and memorials in Belgium and France over half term.
The pupils from Years 9 to 11 had a busy 4 days, visiting a range of WWI sites around Ypres, in Belgium, and the Somme region of France. The pupils visited Tynecot Memorial and Cemetery, where thousands of British and Commonwealth soldiers are buried and commemorated. Whilst there, pupils laid a wreath and observed a minute’s silence to pay their respects to the fallen. They also visited the Langemark cemetery for German soldiers and spent a fascinating afternoon at the Passchendale Museum, where they learned more about the impact of WWI in Belgium and were able to walk around recreated trenches.
The pupils also attended a very moving Last Post ceremony at the Menin Gate Memorial in Ypres, where they were able to join other schools in paying their respects to the soldiers of WWI.
The pupils also spent a day visiting the Somme, including visits to Mametz Wood, the site of a famous battle fought by Welsh battalions, the Thiepval Memorial and the Canadian memorial and Vimy Ridge. These spectacular monuments to the dead and missing of WWI helped the pupils understand the scale of death and destruction caused by WWI. As one of the pupils observed: ‘Seeing it in person really makes it hit home.’
Although moving and emotional, the trip was also highly enjoyable thanks to the fantastic behaviour and attitude of the pupils attending, all of whom were a credit to the school. Many thanks also to Miss C. Davies, Mr McKay, Miss Neucker and Miss K. Thomas for giving up part of their holidays to accompany the trip.