Trip to Belgian battlefields brings home reality of war to pupils

Pupils outside the Langemark Cemetery, where thousands of German soldiers are buried

A group of Bolingbroke history pupils recently visited a number of Belgian Battlefields and memorials to World War One, which brought to life the terrible suffering and loss of life endured by so many during the conflict.

They visited the Tyne Cot Cemetery where nearly 12,000 Allied servicemen from the First World War are buried, along with four German burials. More than 8,000 of these are unidentified. They also visited the Langemark Cemetery where over 44,000 German soldiers are interred, and the pupils were shocked by the difference between the two.

The pupils then visited The Menin Gate,, one of the most well known war memorials in the world, and which carries the names of more than 54,000 soldiers who died in Ypres and who have no known grave. Here, bringing home the reality of war, pupils helped search for Ms Gelder’s great uncle who fought in WW1.

The trip also included a stop off at both The Memorial Musueum at Passchendale and the Flanders Fields Museum which house interesting artefacts such as clothing and weapons.

“Students gained a greater in-depth understanding of all elements of World War One,” said Ms Gelder.