Our annual battlefields trip took place over four days at the start of the summer holidays. 47 of our students travelled to France and Belgium along with five teachers, led by Mr Bovington and Mrs Horsley. The group was based at the ‘Poppies’ hostel in Albert on the Somme, central to all WW1 locations. Students were able to lay wreathes at a number of major sites including the Theipval memorial and the Lochnagar crater. The group also visited the memorial to the battle of Arras and the Canadian National WW1 memorial at Vimy Ridge.
The theme of this year’s visit was ‘Remembering the 89’ and one Year 11 student, Nathan, who was making his second trip to the area, was excited to conduct some research on the Arras offensive of 1917. Nathan also had the chance to present some information about the Horsforth men who fell in this battle on the group’s visit to the Arras memorial.
For many students, the highlight of the trip was the opportunity to lay wreathes in the daily ceremony at the Menin Gate in Ypres on behalf of several sponsors including; Horsforth School, Horsforth Town Council, Morrison’s, Dalesman, the Horsforth branch of the Royal British Legion and Yarnbury Rugby Club. This was an especially fitting tribute to the Horsforth soldiers who died during the battle of Passchendaele. Three of our students, who play for Yarnbury Rugby Club, Ben, Oliver and Jonny, felt that “it was an honour to be able to lay a wreath on behalf of our club in memory of Yarnbury men killed in WW1.”
As well as visiting places of military significance students enjoyed a day at the Aquaboulevard water park and the Bellewaerde theme park.
Many students who attended the trip had also been raising money for military charities and over £1000 will be distributed in the coming months. All students and Horsforth residents are invited to the Ceremony of Remembrance for the 89 Horsforth men killed in 1917. The ceremony will be held at Horsforth School on Monday 9th October at 19:45pm.