History visit to World War I Battlefields sites

As part of our new GCSE course we will be studying Surgery and Medical developments on the Western Front during World War One.  

In preparation for the course, at the beginning of June we took 42 year 9 students on a three day visit to Ypres in Belgium.  We visited a variety of places including Tyne Cott, the largest British Military cemetery and Langemarck which is a Germany cemetery.  Many students were able to visit relatives’ graves along the way, including Samuel Begley’s grave.  Not only did he fight for Warwickshire  but he was from Shipston and his great great Grandson was one of the students on the trip, making this stop particularly moving for staff and students alike.  On our final day we travelled to France and visited the Somme. The first stop here was the Lochnagar Crater, one of the largest man made holes on earth caused by a mine. We were also able to see the Thiephval memorial which is the largest British memorial in the world.  We followed the route that casualties would have taken either on stretcher or on foot, allowing students to understand the movement of casualties during the war.  As part of the tour four students were selected to lay two wreaths, one on behalf of the school and the other on behalf of Shipston British Legion, at the Menin Gate during the ceremony that takes place every evening.