It was a very early start in the morning for a group of Yr 9 students as they set off to Ypres, Belgium to visit the sight of the famous WW1 Christmas Truce. Once there they visited the newly renovated Passchendaele museum where they saw displays of memorabilia and walked through a recreated trench to be greeted by an Information Recruiting Sergeant in authentic WW1 uniform who fed them Tommy rations of stew & sausages and explained about the rifles that were used and what kit each soldier would have been expected to carry.
The next stop for the students was Bayernwald where they watched a re-enactment of the Truce in 1914 when German and English troops laid down their weapons and ventured into no man’s land on Christmas Day to exchange food and souvenirs. A number of soldiers even played a football match.
The final stop of the day was to the Menin Gates where the students laid a wreath and observed a 2 minute silence.
Students’ reports: Katherine Tozer wrote of the day “The school trip to Ypres for Year Nine was, in a word, superlative. The memorial and museums we visited were informative and engaging and my favourite was the re-enactment that took place with actors we met earlier in the day. The teachers were brilliant too, considering how early they got up to get us across three countries in less than 24 hours. Which brings us to our next order of business; the earliness. It was eye-wateringly painful getting up that early but it was certainly worth it to see Belgium.”
Matthew Baker wrote “I went on The Christmas Truce Trip because I thought it would be fun and interesting. We learnt lots more about WW1 and what happened in the war in that part of Belgium. We visited museums, graveyards of the soldiers, we saw re-enactment of the truce and got to buy chocolate at the Christmas market at the end of the day. It was a fun and informative day”