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Visit to the Battlefields of the Western Front

Two students from the academy and Mr Thorpe the History teacher spend four exhausting days in the Battlefields of the Western Front

Visit to the Battlefields of the Western Front

Students Sophie Haslam and William McCullion and teacher, Richard Thorpe, returned home on Wednesday 4th March after four, provocative and exhausting days in the Battlefields of the Western Front.  The visit, part of the government's scheme to send representatives of every school to France/Belgium during the Centenary Years, was a huge success.

The party visited sites around the town of Ypres.  This was of particular significance for Sophie, whose Great Uncle was killed at Passchendaele  in 1917.  He is memorialised at the Tyne Cot Cemetery, as is Dennis Richardson, a Crowle man killed while serving in the King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry.  'I was very moved to find his name on the memorial' Sophie said.

On the second day the students visited the Battlefield of the Somme, where so many Lincolnshire men died on the 1st July 1916.  The effects of the war are still being felt today in the region - the party saw artillery shells turned over by farmers and left for the French Army to dispose of. The day ended with a visit to the Thiepval Memorial, recording the names of over 72,000 British and Commonwealth soldiers who died on The Somme.

'Each of us will carry something different back' said Richard Thorpe.  'The huge scale of the losses on the one hand and the individual stories on the other. On the final day we went to the Lissenthoek military cemetery.  Among the British and Commonwealth graves were those of Chinese labourers, it truly was a World War and will inspire us to work to create a project to memorialise our community and the part it played in the Great War.