After a very early 5.30 am departure, both groups had speedy journeys to Belgium through the Channel Tunnel, with driver Mike. First stop: the trenches! And our wellies were needed after the recent rain. We all appreciated how cold and wet conditions would have been, with men in position on the front lines for days at a time.
Following a well earned hot meal at the hostel, we departed for the Last Post ceremony at the Menin Gate. Holly Rush and Rob Flather laid our wreath on behalf of CORS, and Chloe Wright and Harvey Plant on behalf of HAMW. Our living wreaths, as always, looked absolutely beautiful and were provided by Theodora’s Florist in Corsham. Additionally, on the first of the two visits, Mr Holgate was chosen to give the reading, which he said was “nerve-racking but very memorable”. Back at the hostel, we all ‘relaxed’ at the end of a long day with our ‘Belgian Bar Quiz’ during which competition was fierce! Our beds were very welcome at the end of such a busy day.
After a busy morning in Ypres on Day 2, visiting a number of sites including the interactive ‘In Flander’s Fields’ museum and the Belgian chocolate shop, we departed for Calais via ‘City Europe’, where students practised their linguistics with some retail therapy, before being whisked back to ‘Blighty’.
The students were impeccably behaved whilst touring all of the sites, and particularly whilst visiting the cemeteries. Thank you to all the students and staff who participated this year, and made each visit so special! If any participants have any photos of the visits, please email them to Mr Parsons at firstname.lastname@example.org, for the School Website – chocolates for the best photo!