We were all woken by the sound of Chris Earley’s voice at 6.30am! We began the day with a visit to Essex Farm where Ms Walter provided the group with another lecture, this time on dressing stations in the First World War. The students found the grave of the young 15 year old who died in battle and were suitably pensive as they could relate to his unnecessary death. Attempts to visit the Menin Gate were unfortunately thwarted by the fire brigade directing us away from the centre of Ypres.
We travelled on to Arras to visit the Wellington Quaries where 24,000 soldiers, including many from the Suffolk regiment, who hid for 8 days before surprising the Germans. This is always an interesting visit for the students who enjoy an audio-visual experience deep underground. Another popular destination is a trip to the adjacent supermarket where Mrs Potter bought the smelliest cheese possible whilst Mr Clarke bought a classic choice of cheese slices! After tackling the French self service check outs which challenged the limited French of our students and staff, we set off for Newfoundland Park.
Here Ms Walter again gave another brief lecture explaining this site along the Battle of the Somme. The students could clearly see the allied and German trenches. A short journey up the road took us to the Thiepval Memorial which remembers the names of 73,000 men, who have no known grave. After some searching, Kizzi Brame located the name of her ancestor, Lance Sergeant Frank Stanley Brame. Once back on the coach we began the long journey round Paris to our hotel. We are now sat in the hotel ‘library’ enjoying well earned refreshments. The students should sleep well tonight in preparation for Disneyland tomorrow!