Friday 2nd February to Monday 5th February saw M.James & H. Umar from Year 10 embark on a 4-day visit to the Battlefields & Commonwealth War Graves sites of World War 1 in Belgium & France. This was part of a government funded scheme organised by the FIRST WORLD WAR CENTENARY BATTLEFIELD TOURS PROGRAMME to commemorate the centenary of World War 1.
Students were directed to consider 3 key questions throughout the visit: How did the First World War affect ordinary people? Was the Battle of the Somme in 1916 really a disaster for the British army? & Is remembrance more or less important 100 years on?
Throughout the course of the visit to Belgium and France, we considered these questions through examining headstones of the soldiers of World War 1 and realising that every headstone tells the story of the lives of those soldiers who left behind families and friends and were never to return to England. Students researched the lives of 2 World War 1 soldiers from Aldridge & Great Barr who are commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing at the Somme and Tyne Cot Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery in Belgium, the largest Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery in the world. They were able to research the family background of these men and also to find their names on the memorials and in that way pay their respects and remember the ultimate sacrifice that these men paid.