Bromsgrove young people visit WWI battlefields

By Tristan Harris Friday 04 July 2014 Updated: 06/07 23:55

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Buy photos » Three students participated in the Last Post ceremony at the Menin Gate, Ypres. s

STUDENTS from South Bromsgrove High School visited the First World War battlefields in northern France.

The group of 47 students and seven staff members stayed in Ypres and visited important sites and Commonwealth war cemeteries around the region and in the Somme.

The highlight of the visit was on the Sunday (June 22) when three students participated in the Last Post ceremony at the Menin Gate, Ypres.

During the memorial, which has taken place every evening at 8pm since July 1 1928, students were able to lay two wreaths, one on behalf of the school and the second on behalf of history teacher John Holland whose great great uncle, Tommy Crosbie, was killed during the Battle of Arras in 1917.

Before the visit, students researched their own families to trace ancestors who fought in the First World War. Some visited graves of those they were related to, each leaving a cross of remembrance on behalf of their families.

Although South Bromsgrove High’s visit has been running annually since 1981, this year’s had the added significance of 2014 being the centenary anniversary of the beginning of The Great War.

A spokesperson for South Bromsgrove High said: “The staff who accompanied the students were extremely proud of the way in which they represented the school throughout the visit and particularly during the ceremony which was watched by hundreds of spectators.

“The battlefields tour will provide the central focus of South Bromsgrove High’s centenary commemorations, which will comprise an exhibition and a commemoration evening of drama, song and poetry during the Autumn term 2014.”

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