Poignant battlefields visit for Pont pupils

The Ponteland High School contingent during their three-day tour of First World War battlefields.
The Ponteland High School contingent during their three-day tour of First World War battlefields.

A party comprising of students from every year group at Ponteland High School went on a three-day tour of First World War battlefields.

Concentrating on the Ypres and Somme areas, the trip started with an early evening walk through Ypres to the Ramparts Cemetery (Lille Gate).

The group of teenagers stood in the excavated trenches at both Sanctuary Wood and Newfoundland Memorial Park, with the surrounding shell craters giving them a degree of insight into what life must have been like for the soldiers.

A visit to Tyne Cot, the largest Commonwealth cemetery in the world, certainly conveyed the scale of suffering that happened during the Great War.

Year 12 student Aldo Bernardi said: “The memorials and cemeteries left everyone humbled.”

The highly moving Last Post ceremony at the Menin Gate provided a suitable opportunity to pay their respects to the fallen, with three representatives from the school laying a wreath during the ceremony.

Head of history and raising achievement deputy at the school, Dave Bartlett, said: “Nothing can do justice to what those men must have went through, but I hope that the staff and students of Ponteland High School have in some small way paid tribute to their memory in the hope that their immense heroism and sacrifices will never be forgotten.”