Royal Grammar School

Newcastle

100 Years On...

100 Years On...

The History department’s annual visit to the First World War battlefields is always a moving and memorable occasion but this year, in the centenary year of the war’s start, the trip was particularly poignant…

A group of 58 students and 8 staff travelled to Belgium over the October half-term to visit the First World War battlefields and pay remembrance to those who lost their lives in the Great War. On a tour which had many highlights, including visits to Beaumont Hamel, Thiepval, Tyne Cot, Ypres, Notre Dame de Lorette, and Vimy Ridge, one or two moments really stood out and will live long in the memory.  One was at La Boisselle, where Tyneside Scottish and Tyneside Irish brigades were almost annihilated on the first day of the Somme, and another was at the German memorial of Langemarck, where - during the later invasion of Belgium in 1940 -  Hitler proclaimed  ‘a wrong had been righted’. Connections between both WWI and home and between WWI and WWII were movingly brought to life again and again by our Tour leader, Mr Tilbrook. As one student said at Vimy Ridge - ‘What a history lesson’!

The History department will, of course, focus strongly on the centenary over the next four years and as always the whole school will take part in a special Remembrance Assembly next week during which some of the students who visited the battlefields will reflect upon their individual experiences.

To read a full account of the Battlefields please visit the History department blog here.  

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.