Aldenham School, Founded 1597

Students travel to Ypres and The Somme

Paying their respects to OAs Major H P Philby DSO (McGill’s) and Captain J Shield (School House) at their burial sites were just two of the activities undertaken by Year 9 pupils in their recent three-day trip to the Battlefields of Ypres and the Somme. The theme of the trip was “They walked where we walked” and an emphasis was placed on telling the stories of pupils of the school who had gone to fight in the war.

The 87 pupils and 9 staff also visited Talbot House, an oasis of calm behind the front line near Ypres, and Wellington Quarry, the underground garrison for 24,000 troops before the Battle of Arras in 1917. Wreaths were laid during the Last Post Ceremony at the Menin Gate to commemorate the scores of OAs who gave their lives in the First World War, but who have no known grave. There was also a chance for pupils and staff to sample the delights of Belgian Waffles!

The trip ended with an Act of Commemoration at the Thiepval Memorial, where nine OAs are remembered, and whose names were read out. This is the 10th year in which the school has taken almost the entire year group over to Flanders, and every trip has proven to be a memorable occasion for all concerned.

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