Ypres Trip by Israr Alam, 8ZI
On March 24th, 36 Year 8 students went to Belgium as part of a WWI battlefields trip led by Mr Harris. It was a very entertaining and fun trip in which we had many things to do.
It all started very early in the morning at 5.00 am. That was the time we had to reach school so we could get on a coach, which took us to Belgium. Also the journey to Belgium was very long; it took us 5 hours to reach Belgium as it was across the English Channel. But this wait was worthwhile as the fun we had later on exceeded beyond the waiting time. Also when we had to cross the English Channel, we didn’t do it by ferry, our coach went on to an underground train, which was very exciting.
When we first reached Belgium we went to a very big cemetery, where the people who died in the Great War were buried. It was a very solemn place in which we saw people who gave their life for their countries. There you could find a grave of any person around the world such as Indian, French, German and even Chinese graves, but the thing I found interesting was that there didn’t seem to be any Belgian graves.
After that we went back on the coach for a 20 min ride to the most awaited part of the trip, to the trenches. They were actually recreated in exactly the same place as the ones in the Great War. We also had a look at No Man’s Land which was very intriguing as well. When we first saw the trenches it was amazing, as I couldn’t have imagined people living in there as it was very deep but it was not comfy at all. I couldn’t have imagined people living there for days, surrounded by mud and rats.
After that, our guide took us to Hill 60 which he told us meant that it was 60 meters above sea level. It was very key in WWI as it was an advantage to be uphill. Also in the Great War there were bunkers built up there. We got to see one of them which had been captured by the British. Like the trenches it was very unique looking, and it also seemed very unpleasant to think that people had to live there for weeks and months. There was also debris and a huge crater there as well.
After that we went back on the coach, and we went to this museum which showed us what the soldiers wore and also what shells looked like. It was very good, but after that we had an hour to spend roaming the streets of Belgium, in which we went shopping to get some chocolate which was very exciting! After that we had our meal and we went back to school. We actually reached school at 11:45pm.
Overall it was a very enjoyable trip and I would like to thank the teachers – Mr. Harris, Ms. Ryall and Mr. Tsang who helped out in taking us on this brilliant trip.