Re­mem­ber­ing the sac­ri­fice of World War I

East Kilbride News - - NEWS - Ni­cola Find­lay

They trav­elled to places scarred by con­flict that will never be for­got­ten.

Dun­can­rig Sec­ondary stu­dents vis­ited the bat­tle­fields of Ypres in Bel­gium and the Somme in France to mark 100 years since the end of WWI.

A group of 34 pupils from S3 to S6 walked in the foot­steps of and helped com­mem­o­rate the men who lived and fought, died and sur­vived, in the trenches of the ‘war to end all wars’.

The ex­cur­sion – or­gan­ised by the school’s his­tory depart­ment – took in vis­its to the bat­tle­fields, trenches, bunkers and tun­nels around Great War sites at the Somme and Vimy Ridge in north­ern France, and sim­i­lar lo­ca­tions around the towns of Ypres in Bel­gium. There was the chance to study the tac­tics and ef­fects of trench war­fare where great bat­tles of the war were fought.

And the trip also of­fered pupils the op­por­tu­nity to ex­pe­ri­ence the lan­guage and cul­ture of Bel­gium and France.

Prin­ci­pal teacher of his­tory, James McSherry, said: “The staff in­volved in the trip were in­cred­i­bly proud of the way the pupils re­sponded to all as­pects of their bat­tle­field ex­pe­ri­ences.

“The in­ter­est shown by the pupils in all the sites we vis­ited was strong and their re­spect to­wards what had hap­pened to their pre­de­ces­sors was ma­ture and sin­cere.”

Stu­dents spent their first day on the con­ti­nent, af­ter sail­ing from Hull to Zee­brugge, vis­it­ing the south­ern sec­tor of the Ypres salient, tak­ing in the sights at Messines, Hooge, Black Watch Cor­ner and Hill 60 be­fore go­ing ‘into the trenches’ at Sanc­tu­ary Wood.

Af­ter a night’s rest in Lange­mark, the pupils made their way across the bor­der into France to visit Pi­cardy and the bat­tle­fields that sur­round the River Somme.

At Beau­mont Hamel, stu­dents were taken across a bat­tle­field that saw the in­fa­mous sac­ri­fice of the New­found­land Reg­i­ment on July 1, 1916, whose ca­su­alty rate for the first day of the Somme was an ap­palling 80 per cent.

It was here that pupils vis­ited the 51st High­land Divi­sion me­mo­rial on the site of the ground fi­nally taken from the Ger­mans on Novem­ber 13, 1916 at the end of the Bat­tle of the Somme.

The third day of the bat­tle­field tour took the pupils back to Flan­ders to ex­plore the north­ern sec­tor of the Ypres salient, scene of the bru­tal Bat­tle of Pass­chen­daele in 1917.

The group also vis­ited Poel­capelle Bri­tish Ceme­tery – ar­guably the most poignant of all the Com­mon­wealth ceme­ter­ies in Flan­ders.

Par­tic­u­larly poignant for the pupils was a march from Pass­chen­daele ridge down to Tyne Cot Com­mon­wealth War Grave.

Mr McSherry added: “Praise for the at­ti­tude and con­duct shown by the pupils at each of the tour sites came from all quar­ters.”

Praise for the at­ti­tude and con­duct shown by the pupils at each of the tour sites came from all quar­ters Mr McSherry

Ex­pe­ri­ence Dun­can­rig pupils at the Beau­mont Hamel Me­mo­rial to the 51st High­land Divi­sion

Trib­ute Pupils pay re­spects to some of the 6230 un­known sol­diers buried at Poel­capelle Arte­fact Tak­ing time to in­spect a frag­ment of an ar­tillery shell

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.