Hugh Sexey Church of England Middle School
Together we believe; Together we achieve

WWI Battlefields Tour – Day 1


After setting off early and making great time to Folkstone, we were unfortunately delayed nearly 4 hours in crossing due to increased security checks at the French border.  In some ways this was a blessing in disguise though, since by the time we arrived at Lijessenthoek Cemetery in Poperinge, Belgium, the foul weather had cleared, and we were greeted with a bright and sunny day.  The children learned about the significance of the site by decoding the clues in the landscape.  They discovered that what was once a large farm became the largest military hospital on the Ypres Salient, largely due to its location and distance behind the front line, and its access to a railway network which aided supply and casualty evacuation and repatriation.  In the evening, we attended the Menin Gate ceremony, which has been held continuously at Menin gate since its opening in 1927 (except for the WW2 years when Ypres was occupied by German forces).  The children stood in silence to listen to the playing of the last post by the bugler; 3 of our pupils, Scarlett, Emmanuel and Rachel walked across the gate and laid a wreath on behalf of HSMS fallen WW1 soldiers.  It was a very moving ceremony.