First World War Battlefields Visit

7th November 2014

Thirty-eight students and four staff from De Warenne visited the battlefields of the First World War near Ypres in Begium and the Somme in northern France. This special Remembrance Weekend which also marked the centenary of the year war broke out, saw the group visit significant sites such as Vimy Ridge, Thiepval Memorial and the memorial to the Sheffield and Barnsley Pals. Students also had the opportunity to experience what the trenches were like by visiting recreations of the original British trenches at Sanctuary Wood and German trenches at Croonaert Wood. The trenches were cramped and muddy and presented a realistic view of the difficult fighting conditions. On the Saturday evening the group watched the Last Post Ceremony at the Menin Gate in Ypres, which was a deeply moving experience.

On their return members of the group presented an assembly for all students. In addition to relating key events of the war they read poems written by soldiers or their families. At the end of the assembly no-one was left in any doubt as to the devastation and loss of life that occurred during those years and as to why we must always remember.