13th July 2018
On the 20th – 23rd June Year 8 & 9 went to Belgium and France to visit the battlefields of WW1. Some of the places we visited were very dark and it really hit you, how many men died.
One of the first places we went to was a cemetery for the allies. All the stones were pure white and kept very clean with flowers planted around them. This cemetery held the youngest soldier that died in the war, at the age of 14. One thing we learnt was the men were buried where they fell so some of the graves were very close together and others were further apart. Here they also had old ‘medical rooms’. These were pitch black and in one of them there was still blood on the wall.
Compared to the ally cemetery, the German cemetery was very dark. All the stones were a darker colour and the atmosphere was very depressing because of course they didn’t only lose many men, they also lost the war. Many graves had sixteen names on them and this was because sixteen men had been piled on top of each other. This was a horrifying place to be and very dark. They didn’t have many flowers here either.
One place that really affected us all was Tyne Cott Cemetery. There were so many graves with men’s names on them and right at the back there were walls listed with names of men that hadn’t been found. This was a really lovely but saddening place to be to see how many men actually died.
A more exciting part of the trip was the chocolate shop. We all managed to buy bags full of chocolate and sweets and luckily none of us were sick!
We visited two trenches, Hill 62 and Vimy Ridge. Hill 62 was really fun and we all ran around the trenches experiencing what soldiers did but Vimy Ridge was a lot different. Vimy Ridge was where the Canadians fought and they are very respectful so this trench was a lot more peaceful. There was a massive difference! We also went into a war tunnel at Vimy Ridge and it was fantastic!
Overall, the trip was amazing and we all really enjoyed it. It was a really emotive trip being able to see things with our own eyes instead of pictures and has changed all our views on WW1 today.
Hannah Solway Y9