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St Gabriel’s

St Gabriel’s

Our Historians visit The Somme and Ypres

Mia, Year 11, tells us about her experience at the Battlefields. 

After leaving incredibly early on Friday morning, we travelled to Dover on the coach and then onto the ferry which took us to Calais. We had a lovely cooked breakfast on the Ferry and headed straight to Railway Wood where we looked at the Ally’s downhill positioning against the Germans. We also heard many fascinating stories about the bravery of multiple war heroes. After that, we had lunch in Hooge Crater Museum and headed off to go into a simulated trench and experience a simulated gas attack. Next, we got to see Hill 60, hear about the terrifying fate of some mining crews, go inside a real bunker, and check out the craters (caused by WW1 shelling) which have been preserved immaculately. Finally, we finished off the day with dinner at a lovely restaurant, experiencing the Menin Gate for the 2000 Remembrance Service. Afterwards, I walked to the Belgian chocolate shop! 

After a much better night's sleep than the night before, we had breakfast in our hostel and headed off to Pond Farm. We got to discover the incredible weapons that the potato farmers there dig up and have a look inside a real tank! After that, we went to Langemark German Cemetery, and I managed to stand exactly where Adolf Hitler did over 100 years ago! Finally, we drove to Essex Farm Cemetery and Advanced Dressing Station (ADS) where we were lucky enough to see the rooms where treatment of the soldiers took place in World War 1. Then, unfortunately, due to the weather, took an early ferry home from Dunkirk back to Dover. However, I did have delicious fish and chips for dinner on the ferry. 

I most enjoyed seeing the craters at Hill 60 because it made me realise the extent of the harshness of WW1 and the bravery and sacrifice that the soldiers fighting made. 

This trip to Belgium has given me an opportunity to make good memories with my friends and teachers while also being greatly beneficial for my revision of medicine in World War 1. We would all like to thank all the teachers who supported this amazing trip (Mrs. Woodhouse, Mr. Norris, Mrs. Causer & Mrs. Chaplin) and both teachers who organised the trip too (Mrs. Shillaw & Mr. Lewis). 

Thank you! I have had a wonderful time.