Final Day in Belgium

Good morning.

The picture is the Menin Gate from last night

The plan today, after a great night’s sleep and big breakfast, is to pack up and head to Arras and the underground trenches of Wellington Quarry.

For more information about this special place please see below:

http://www.greatwar.co.uk/french-flanders-artois/museum-wellington-quarry.htm

After that we head north to the Newfoundland Memorial which is a huge area of preserved trenches and no man’s land.  It is very atmospheric crossing No mans land and knowing how important that tiny piece of land was for a brief period of history.

Again..there’s so much to know

and see here.  Please see some of the things we will look at below:

http://www.greatwar.co.uk/somme/memorial-newfoundland-park.htm

From there it’s back to Calais and the Eurotunnel.

Please look back later for more detailed estimates of our arrival home.

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An update on yesterday is below…we had trouble posting but hope that this gives you more detail to the amazing day we had.

“A very eventful and busy day! An early start began by travelling into Ypres square where we visited the local cathedral which was rebuilt after being completely destroyed during WW1. It really was an impressive place.

Following this we then went into Flanders Museum which was extremely interesting, not to mention eye-opening.

We then picked up our local tour guide and set on our way to visit our first war memorial: Essex Farm. Here we got to stand in the place where John McCrae wrote the infamous poem ‘In Flanders Field’ and learnt about how the dressing stations operated. We even got to see the gravestone of 15 year old Valentine Strudwick who was killed in action a few weeks before his 16th birthday.

Next stop was to visit the location where the last surviving Tommy, Harry Patch, fought.

A few miles down the road we then visited Langemark, the German cemetery, which really opened our eyes to just how many soldiers were buried together.

After a short trip on the bus we then arrived to the largest grave memorial, Tyne Cot, which really was something to behold. 12,000 gravestones surrounded us and the reality of war really sunk in for pupils.

After warming up back on the bus we then visited Passchendaele Museum and learnt about life in on the front line and in the support trenches. We even got to go down into reconstructed dug outs and trenches which really brought home just got horrific war really was for all the soldiers.

Our tour guide was simply outstanding and answered all of the pupils’ eager questions. A long and busy day meant by the time pupils got back the hotel they were ready for a delicious 3 course meal and a quick turnaround before we are going to go back out for some Christmas shopping in the market and then watch the Last Post Ceremony.’