45 Year 8 students and 5 members of staff from The Petersfield School were up before the lark on Saturday morning when they left Petersfield at 4.15am to catch the Eurotunnel to Calais.
They were on a History day trip to the battlefields of the Somme, visiting the Somme Museum at Albert, the Memorial to the Missing at Thiepval, the Lochnagar crater and the Canadian memorial and trenches at ????
The glorious weather made a fascinating day even better. The students were stilled by the silence at the Lochnagar crater which was broken only by birdsong, and was both eerie and affecting. The sheer scale of the Memorial to the Missing at Thiepval with 72,000 names was overwhelming. One student, Alice ???? found her great-uncle’s name there, and placed silk poppies in his memory.
Students were given the opportunity to hunt for war artefacts on a ploughed field next to the Canadian memorial, where they found remains of ammunition, shell cases and even hand grenades – one of which was still intact. This of course had to be carefully handed over to the tour guide!
Head of History, Paul Robjohn, said, "This trip really brought alive the harsh reality of World War 1 to our students. In spite of the long day – over 18 hours - they came home brimming with enthusiasm and excitement at everything they had seen and heard.”