WWI Centenary

Posted at 2:22 pm on 17th April, 2018

Two students from our year 9 were recently selected to attend a national Government funded trip to the WW1 battlefields. Ella Brindley and Daisy Pine were chosen after writing a letter explaining why they should be chosen to take part.

Ella and Daisy were escorted by Humanities teacher Miss Kelly, along with staff and students from nine other schools from across Greater Manchester. They visited battlefield sites of Ypres Salient and the Somme, exploring the trenches and conditions experienced by the soldiers. All of these experiences link to the girls GCSE studies, providing them with a real insight for their investigation of surgery in WW1.

                  WWI Missing of the Somme.jpg    WWI Hubert Knox.jpg

During the trip the whole group were encouraged to further their investigations into soldiers from Urmston and the surrounding area.

The first day was spent visiting Hooge Crater cemetery and Tyne Cot cemetery. Sitting and looking out on the sea of gravestones really brought home the devastation of war, with the most poignant part being the wall of soldiers’ names whose bodies remain undiscovered.

The Last Post ceremony at Menin Gate really was a very moving and poignant reflection for everyone present, with the students contemplating the soldiers who had fallen and thinking about how their families must have felt.

WWI Memorial.jpg 

Moving into France, the group spent the day exploring sites of the Battle of the Somme. Firstly at Newfoundland memorial (a preserved WWI battlefield) they learnt about the scale of battle and how close the Allied and German frontlines were. During the afternoon they moved onto Caterpillar Hill cemetery and started to look at the story of the Manchester Pals as well as realising the huge number of different countries and areas represented on the head stones.

The later part of the trip focused on Thiepval memorial, commemorating the missing of the Somme. The students located the grave of a soldier from Urmston and reflected on the stories of those who were never recorded, including the families of those back in England who never returned. The group then took part in a commemoration of the “16th Manchester’s” group and their contribution to the war, including being filmed for Granada ITV News:

http://www.itv.com/news/2018-03-21/poppies-laid-in-france-to-commemorate-the-hundredth-anniversay-of-battle-of-manchester-hill/

Miss Kelly said: ‘This was a moving and thought provoking trip where all attendees really appreciated the impact of war.’