Visit to WWI Battlefields and the Somme

A group of four Year 10 students and Mrs Kember visited Europe recently.  The trip was part of the First World War Centenary Battlefields Tours Programme run by the UCL Institute of Education.  This was a government funded trip and a fantastic opportunity for our students to mix with students from a variety of other schools to investigate the way in which we remember the fallen from the First World War.  Once concluded the programme will have seen 8,000 students from schools across the UK having visited the battlefields.

The visit began in Belgium investigating the start of the war and visiting Ypres.  In the evening, the group was privileged to watch the last post ceremony at the Menin Gate memorial.

During the first evening students were given two names, Thomas Henry Webb and Thomas Welford Rainbow.  Using the Commonwealth War Grave Commission website to find out who these individuals were, they were to discover that both men had come from Shipston and had both died fighting in the war. They went on to discover that neither soldiers’ bodies were recovered and they are both named on memorials to the missing.  Whilst at Tyne Cot, the largest British Military cemetery in the world, students found Thomas Henry Webb’s name and discussed what they had found out about his life before the war.  He will forever be remembered on panel 80.

The tour concluded with a visit to the Somme region where students spent time at the Thiepval memorial to the missing, where they discovered the name of Thomas Welford Rainbow on panel 5A.  Again they shared what they had discovered about his life and then signed the visitors book in remembrance of him

Thank you to Mrs Kember for giving the students the opportunity to take part in this very emotive and worthwhile visit.