Students' journey of remembrance to the Somme

Students paid their respects to those who lost their lives in war during a trip to the Somme on the 100th anniversary year of the fierce First World War battle.

A group of 36 students and five members of staff travelled to the French battlefields to give them a better insight into the atrocities that took place there during the war.

They visited memorials and museums that honour those who lost their lives during their journey of remembrance over the Easter holidays.

For Year 10 student, Feargus Flanagan, the experience was especially poignant as he was able to pay personal tribute to a relative - Private Edward Culliton of Royal Dublin Fusiliers, who died in battle at the age of 18 on September 9 1916 - at his grave at Serre Road No 2 Cemetery.

The Battle of the Somme, which took place between July and November 1916, was one of the largest of the First World War, with more than 1 million casualties. On the first day alone, the British suffered almost 60,000 casualties, making it the bloodiest day in British military history.

History teacher Mrs C. Hall, who organised the trip, said: “The Easter visit to the Somme battlefields to commemorate the 100th anniversary year of that First World War battle was a moving and educational journey.  

“Our students were a credit to Highfields in the way they followed their own personal journey of remembrance.  

“We visited a few of the many cemeteries in the Somme to explore the story of the battle, including at Serre, where we found the grave of a relative of one of the party.  

“We also visited the excellent and informative Wellington Quarry Museum in Arras and had some pleasant relaxation time in the delightful Saturday market in Arras.”

She added that students also put aside time at evenings for literary study and to work on a short film documenting the emotionally-fuelled experience.

The visit is one of a number of study tours organised by Highfields’ History department to enable students to experience first hand the locations of world-changing events.

*A few snapshots of the journey are shown in this piece and a more in-depth report and video will be posted in due course.



Posted on April 18, 2016 .