Trip to Belgium 7th/8th September 2019
On Saturday morning, a group of six pupils and their parents met with six members of school staff at 4:45am to travel to Ypres in Belgium. Despite the early hour, they made the ferry in plenty of time and travelled across to Calais, then drove across to Belgium. The first stop on Saturday was at Ypres, where students, parents and staff walked through the Menin Gate and into the Town Square, to visit a chocolate shop. The people there were lovely, and even had a sign in the window welcoming Lonsdale School! Having tasted and bought lots of chocolate, everyone visited the Flanders Field Museum, which was very interactive and informative. On the way back to the hostel, we stopped to visit the German trenches, where everyone realised that people were a lot shorter 100 years ago! Once at the hostel, after dinner everyone returned to the Menin Gate to take part in the Last Post Ceremony by Jake, Ross and Sam laying a wreath, thanking the soldiers for putting their lives in danger to protect us. The following day started with a visit to Tyne Cot cemetery, where Aoife and Riordan laid a wreath. The coach then travelled to Langemark German Cemetery and bunkers. On the way the guide Steve told us about the Hertfordshire Regiment and the coach stopped briefly at Vancouver Corner with its memorial to almost 6000 Canadian soldiers, who died in a battle which only lasted 2 1/2 weeks. Will and Mrs Thiele laid another wreath at the German cemetery before we made our way back to Calais for the ferry home. Despite feeling quite tired, everyone had an amazing time and learned lots about different battles of the First World War and the conditions that the soldiers fought in.
The students who went to Belgium made us very proud. They asked interesting questions all the way along and respectfully joined in all of the ceremonies.
We would like to thank Steve, our tour guide, and Gary, our coach driver, who with their knowledge and expertise navigated us without a hitch to all destinations and made this trip come to life by sharing stories and facts about the war and the sights we visited.