On Wednesday 20th November 2019, 3 of our students, Peter, Bradley and Lenny travelled with Sandra and Liz to Ypres in Belgium. They were accompanied by Richard Burgess, Director of WorkSecure Group and historian and author Alex Churchill.
They travelled via Eurotunnel and stopped off in France for a hot drink. They visited the medieval town of Ypres and the surrounding salient where they studied conflict awareness through visiting the following stands:
LIJSSENTHOEK COMMONWEALTH WAR GRAVE CEMETARY
A multicultural cemetery where men of all races and nationalities have been laid to rest. They also saw the military grave of a woman and looked at the role of women in war at that time. They visited the grave of someone shot at dawn, an England Rugby player, a vicar and someone shot on the last day of war. They visited the grave of a soldier from Southend.
This is the place of execution behind the town hall. The students were shown the firing post and were allowed to look around the condemned cells.
The students walked around and explored a trench and talked about life in the trenches and the conditions the soldiers had to live and fight in.
ESSEX FARM CEMETARY
They saw the remains of a dressing station. They visited the grave of Pte Strudwick (a boy soldier) where our students laid a wreath and read a poem. They held a minute's silence. This was a very moving experience for the students and they were a credit to all of us!
LANGEMARK GERMAN CEMETERY
They compared the German war graves with those of the British. The students learnt about Hitler's 1940 visit and listened to a poem by Siegfried Sassoon "Reconciliation".
They visited the MENIN GATE which shows the names of soldiers without a grave.
They went to Ypres to walk through the town and went chocolate shopping as a reward for all their hard work.
To see some photos from the trip have a look at our gallery section!