International Ambassadors and Year 13 visit Ypres
Our Trip to Ypres, 21stSeptember 2018:
Setting off from Enfield at around 6am, it allowed us plenty of time to get to Ypres, arriving there at about 11am, so we could see and learn as much as possible.
Upon our arrival in Ypres, we met with our guide for the day, Johan. Whilst driving through Ypres, he told us that though the buildings around us may look hundreds of years old, they have actually only been built recently after the war, as the entire city was destroyed.
The first place that we visited was a British Cemetery, where all the gravestones were carved from British stone. Johan showed us graves that were dug very close together, meaning they died together in battle. He also showed us a British-Jewish grave, which had stones on the top of it, a typical Jewish tradition. We also saw one German grave in this cemetery, as he died on the British Front Line, which was distinguished by having a similar yet different headstone to the others.
The next place we visited was a real World War One trench, which we got to walk through.
After that, we went to see a German cemetery. These graves were flat on the ground, small squares made of German stone. Unlike the British, these gravestones have 5-10 names on each one, as there was more than one soldier buried beneath them.
The last place that we visited with Johan was Tyne Cote Memorial. This was the biggest cemetery we saw, and has the names of those buried there inscribed across the memorial. Tyne Cote is the largest cemetery for Commonwealth forces in the world, for any war.
Next, we visited the Flanders Field Museum. The most striking thing I remember seeing there was the skeletons of real horses who had died in the war. We also saw real uniforms and weapons.
Lastly, we went to Menin Gate, to see The Last Post, a daily memorial service, where Gunes and Abigail laid a wreath for our school.
On the 21stof September the International Ambassador Team and a group of Year 13 students visited Ypres, Belgium to mark a century since the end of the First World War. On arrival we took a tour visiting both German and British cemeteries placed on the front line.
The British cemetery named Essex Farm Cemetery gave us an insight to what once was a casualty clearing station and where John McCrae wrote his poem ‘in Flanders Field’.
The Langemark German cemetery is located on the north of Ypres and was the German front line, thus has roughly 44,403 casualties of WW1 buried here.
The Flanders Field Museum was our last stop before having dinner and returning to Menin Gate. Our last visit was to Menin Gate in which every night at 8pm the last post is sounded in remembrance to those lost in WW1. Gunes and Abby laid a wreath as representatives of Enfield County School for Girls to symbolise 100 years since the end of The First World War.