Between the 6-9 October Head Girl, Morgan Newton and Deputy Head Girl Niamh Holmes, accompanied by Mrs Chatterley, visited the battlefields of World War One. The school had be invited to send representatives as part of a national memorial during the centenary of key battles from the war.
They students travelled to Dover where they completed research on local soldiers who had bravely fought in the First World War. The party was able to meet with active military personnel and also explore artefacts from the Great War. During the second day of the trip they travelled to France to visit the Ypres Salient where they visited the Lijsssenthoek Cemetery.
Throughout the day Morgan and Niamh considered how the First World War affected ordinary people.
In addition they toured a museum which enabled the pupils to develop their understanding of conditions faced by the soldiers.
During the evening ceremony at the Menin Gate, Morgan and Niamh were selected from the many students present to lay a wreath at The Last Post Ceremony. Morgan Newton commented, “It was a unique experience which I will remember for ever. I felt very honoured to have been picked to be part of such a special evening and I hope to share my experience to encourage other members of my local community and school to commemorate the sacrifice made by those men and their families.’
The evening concluded with a visit to The Thiepval Memorial and the site of the unknown soldier.
The girls were shocked by the vast number of deaths on both sides of the War. Niamh Holmes commented, "The loss of life was colossal. I feel it is important that we remember the men and families who sacrificed for our freedom in 2017".
Focusiing on the Battle of the Somme, the students visited the Newfoundland Memorial Park at Beaumont Hamel where they considered if the battle was a disaster for the British. The stunning grounds were preserved showing the trenches and impact of war on the land.
During the final day the party toured the Tyne Cot Cemetery, the largest British memorial, and in contrast they also visited the German memorial which reflected a different version of how the German people remember their fallen soldiers.
This visit has encouraged the girls to share their experience and knowledge that they have gained from the trip with their peers and community. The school is organising a remembrance project to commemorate the 100 year anniversary of the end of WW1.