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The Battle of the Somme – 100 Years.

Posted on: June 30, 2016

Every year, we take students to France and Belgium to see the memorials and the places where battles were fought during World War 1. This year is a particularly poignant year as the 1st July commemorates 100 years of The Battle of the Somme.

This year, we took 31 students to the battlefields. They visited the now peaceful French meadows in the Somme region that were once violent battlefields, where the trenches still remain snaking through the fields. They then paid their respects to the 72,000 UK and South African soldiers whose names are engraved into the walls of the Thiepval monument, but their bodies were never found.

They also took in the sights of the Lochnagar Crater, the cemeteries on both sides, the Ulster Tower commemorating the soldiers from the Irish regiment and Beaumont Hamel where, in only 30 minutes, the Newfoundland regiment were wiped out on the first day of The Battle of the Somme on 1st July 1916.

In Ypres, Belgium, the students visited the original trenches at Hill 62, the British and German cemeteries and the “In Flanders Fields” museum at Cloth Hall. However, probably most memorable for the students, was the opportunity to lay a wreath to the fallen at Menin Gate.

It is a very emotional but important trip that we put on every year so that the students can see for themselves the damage and loss that occurred during the Great War.

We have already booked again for next year and hope other students will join us for this memorable experience.