‘Moving experience’ for Chichester High School students on Belgium trip

Students at the graves
Students at the graves
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The history department at Chichester High School recently organised a trip to Belgium to visit the battlefields.

On March 24 and 24, 53 Year 10 GCSE students visited Ypres to gain a greater understanding of the impact of war on medical treatment and to understand some of the context of World War One, 1914-1918.

They visited the trenches at Sanctuary Wood, the Passchendaele Museum and a war cemetery to gain a sense of the conditions soldiers fought in.

The evening highlight was the wreath laying ceremony at the Menin Gate which was a moving experience for many of our students as Alice Fryer laid a wreath in honour of her great- great-grandfather.

The next day they visited Essex Farm Cemetery, site of an advanced dressing station which Dr John McCrae worked at, Tyne Cot cemetery, site of the Battle of Passchendaele, and then went to Talbot House where soldiers would go to rest.

Mrs Silcock, deputy headteacher, said: “Thank you to the staff members who accompanied the trip: Mrs Read, Mr Faulkner, Mr Chambers, Mrs Mulkern and Mrs Adams and to all the year 10s who made it such a fantastic and memorable experience.”

Joshua Farrier, a Year 10 student, said: “Belgium - what an experience! Being given the opportunity to see first-hand how the soldiers lived throughout the war was truly extraordinary and is something I’d like to do again.

Personally, my favourite part of the journey was visiting Tyne Cot. Seeing the amount of lives lost during this horrific event, really gave a thorough understanding of how dangerous participating in the war was – especially as there was such a large quantity of graves in a relatively small area. Additionally, I’d like to thank all the staff and fellow students for being on the trip, it wouldn’t have been the same otherwise.”

Alice Fryer said: “In Belgium I was fortunate enough to be given the opportunity to lay a wreath at the Last Post service held at the Menin Gate. I laid my wreath in honour of my great-great grandad who died during the Great War.” I am so grateful that I was able to do this because it is something that my family have always wanted to do and I am honoured that I could do it on their behalf. It was an extremely emotional experience: one I will never forget. I am so thankful that I was given such an incredible opportunity.

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