Year 9 pupils recently travelled to the World War I Battlefields in France and Belgium to further their historical understanding. Pupils visited the Battlefields surrounding Ypres and the Somme - a humbling experience for all involved with the visit.
On the first day, pupils experienced the Last Post Ceremony at the Menin Gate and three Clifton High School historians laid a wreath for those who had fallen during the Battles of Ypres. Returning to the hotel just outside the Ypres area, pupils sampled some excellent Belgium cuisine in the evening.
During the second day, pupils visited many cemeteries and monuments to the fallen and were enthralled by the enormous Thiepval Memorial and the impressive Deville Wood South African Memorial. The stop at Newfoundland Park allowed pupils to empathise with the soldiers who fought there by walking through preserved trenches.
Year 8 visited the Bristol Cross Memorial to the 12th Gloucestershire Regiment, “Bristol’s Own” on the third day of their visit which allowed pupils to better understand the sacrifice made by soldiers from the Bristol area. The most memorable part of the third day was the visit to the large cemetery at Tyne Cot where some pupils found the names of their relatives which was very moving.
Overall, the Battlefields visit was an enjoyable yet sobering experience. Clifton High pupils gained a great deal from the visit and a similar visit in the future will allow subsequent year groups to do the same.