From Wednesday 13 to Friday 15 November 2013, pupils from Year 9 attended a History trip to Ypres, Belgium. Below is Arun Chadha’s (9A) account of the trip.
In lessons, we were studying World War I, so during the trip we visited the memorial sites. We stayed in a hotel near Menin Gate, where there was a museum and a magnificent memorial.
Throughout the whole trip, we visited many monuments and memorials. On the first night, we attended a memorial service at the Menin Gate that was packed with people and laid a wreath. There were also two memorials that were in the countryside where there were still craters all over the ground from battles fought a hundred years ago. We also visited many grave sites for the fallen on both sides of the war. In one cemetery, there were thousands of tombstones with a large statue in the centre. Some of the tombstones had the names of the fallen soldiers, but quite a few were unknown soldiers who had died. One memorial contained actual trenches that we could walk in, but we walked across the path around them. Here we gained a valuable perspective into the harsh conditions suffered by the soldiers during the war.
Along with the memorials and cemeteries, we also visited important museums, such as the Flanders Field Museum. This was a modernised museum with various pieces of electronic equipment available to provide historical information: my favourites were the poppy bands that activated all interactive aspects of the museum.
The trip was a massive eye-opener, as it put into perspective for all of us the effects of the war and its aftermath.