Vale at The Battlefields
Mr Smalley, Head Girl Beth Waddicor and Senior Prefect Jess Kennedy were lucky enough to be selected to attend a First World War Centenary Programme Centenary Battlefield Tour.
Departing on Sunday, along with a number of other NW schools the intrepid trio embarked on a packed itinerary that saw them visit a number of memorials and cemeteries, as well as some key battlefield sites. The first night was spent in Kent doing some research into the War and how it affected the people of Blackburn and Darwen. An early start the next day saw everyone go on to spend 2 nights in Ypres which is in Belgium. Using this as a base the tour then flitted between France and Belgium, with visits to Tyne Cot, The Ulster Monument, Passchendale, as well as Lochnagar creator, as well as many other key sites.
It was an eye opening experience for all concerned as they tried to address key questions about the impact of the war, as well as reflecting on how and why we remember.
To add to the trip 3 serving soldiers accompanied the group as comparisons were made between soldiers today and those 100 years ago. It was certainly a trip to remember for many reasons. Friendships were made, thoughts exchanged and respect given to the brave souls who fought 100 years ago.
The students returned determined to make sure that we all remember and the legacy continues into future generations.
Beth and Jess at the foot of the Thiepval Memorial, a huge monument dedicated to more than 72000 soldiers whose bodies were never recovered.
Beth and Jess are honoured to lay a wreath at the Menin gate, during one of the nightly ceremonies, attended by 100’s of people. ‘It was amazing and I’m proud to have done this.’ said Beth afterwards.
Beth and Jess taking in the History on the Battlefields trip. Pictured here near the town of Ypres, which was their base for the 4 day tour.
For more information about the trip please speak to the girls, they will only be too glad to tell you what they experienced. Mr Smalley also has a collection of amazing photographs.