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St John's C of E Middle School Academy

Trips

First World War Centenary Battlefields Trip – October 2017 

Recently, I was lucky enough to attend a Government funded trip to Belgium and France to learn about the everyday life of people serving their country as Soldiers, Doctors, Nurses etc. during the First World War. During the trip we visited many of the famous battlefields and cemeteries including: The Somme, Thiepval Memorial, the Menin Gate memorial in Yeppes, Belgium.

At the Menin Gate Aaliyah Harris and I were privileged to take part in the prestigious Last Post ceremony which takes part every evening to pay tribute to those British who gave their lives protecting their Country. At the ceremony Mr. McEvilly arranged for Aaliyah and me to lay poppy wreaths of remembrance on behalf of both the school and the Bromsgrove British Legion, who donated them.

During the trip we also visited a German cemetery, which we found very interesting. It was good to see the other side of the war which is not well documented in the UK as these soldiers also made the ultimate sacrifice.

We began to research Albert and George Wallace whose names appear on our school remembrance plaque as former students of the school and who lost their lives during the War. Whilst we knew George made it back to England before losing his life and is buried in St. John’s graveyard we discovered that Albert died at the Somme and we were able to pay our respects to him by finding his name on the Thiepval memorial.

We had a totally amazing experience on the tour, a trip I know we will never forget.

‘'When you go home tell them of us and say "For your tomorrow, we gave our today'"