From understanding comes strength
Battle Field Trip and Remembrance Day 2016
In October a group of S4 and S5 History pupils had the opportunity to go to Belgium and Northern France to visit some of the historic memorials and battlefields where many fought and died.
Three of the students who were on the trip (Alex Bosson, Keiran Bashforth and Loren Brundrett) were given the opportunity to lay a wreath at the Menin Gate ceremony on behalf of Banchory Academy. This was a great honour as only a select few schools were allowed to participate in the service. It also gave pupils the chance to experience the atmosphere and reflect on those who lost their lives. Speaking of his experience Magnus Garrett, an S4 pupil, said “seeing pictures in textbooks gives no real feeling of the actual scale of the number of lives lost, and not just from Britain, but from all across the Commonwealth.”
We also had the chance to travel to Northern France to the battlefields of the Battle of the Somme. One of the battlefields we visited contained the graves of men who grew up in Banchory and the surrounding areas. Again, two students were given the opportunity to lay a cross at the grave site on behalf of the school. After visiting the graveyard, we visited the famous Thiepval Memorial, where over 72,000 names of the dead and missing are recorded and there are still names being added to this day.
Overall, it was an extremely emotional trip that affected each and every one of us greatly and helped us to recognise the sacrifice of the men who fought on an almost personal level. It also showed us that in class you learn the bare facts, but experiencing the sheer number of men who lost their lives first hand really gives you a completely different outlook on war as a whole – you see less numbers and statistics and more of real people and their families who are affected. Click here to view Photos from the trip