So I’ll start with some pictures.
And we could have added hundreds.
We started with a tour of the Flanders Museum and then picked up our guide.
He took us on a walking tour of Ypres before taking us to Essex Farm Cemetary, where Flanders Field was penned.
After a short drive we visited Langemark German Cemetary for a completely different experience.
On our way to our planed stop we realised we were passing the memorial to the Last Tommy, Harry Patch, so we stoped to hear his description of the horrors he suffered on his first day of fighting dramatically read by our guide. His memorial is on the spot he went over the top for the first time at Passchendaele so you could see the church he was aiming for in his description and the ground he would have to cover.
Next stop was the mind blowing Tyne Cot Cemetary, the biggest war Cemetary looked after by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.
We thought we would find a relative here of one of our students but when the grave name did not match we knew something was a miss. Some clever detective work (A lucky picture taken by Mr Bennett which had the name of the man we were looking for on it) and our expert guide and ten minutes later we were at a little known Cemetary just south of Ypres. Even then it took Mr Stevenson’s keen eye to spot the grave as the soldier we were looking for had used a false name when he signed up. Luckily for us the grave had both his service name and in small script above, his real name was recorded.
This impromptu exploration meant we were now near Hill 60, a large crater created by huge explosions underground by British troops (the explosion could be felt it was said in London) so we changed plans and called in to see it.
After a very busy day we had time to stop and buy chocolate before returning for a meal.
It was back on with the coats though very quickly as we went out to see the Last Post at the Menin Gate.
We returned back to the hotel and just when they thought they could stop it was Corporal Quinn and Sergeant Major Snowdon’s turn to take over with a poetry writing session inspired by today. The poems were amazing.
We have just as busy day planed tomorrow so it won’t be long before bed time