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Northern France & Belgium WWI Literature English, Drama & Performing Arts School Trips & Tours

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Located close to the original front lines, this fascinating visit shows well preserved original British trenches and covered passageways, as well as a section of the underground tunnel system. The museum consists of two rooms housing many artefacts removed from the battlefields plus a large and rare collection of three dimensional photo images inside special viewing boxes.

Tyne Cot Cemetery is the resting place of 11,956 soldiers, and the largest British Military Cemetery in the world. The panels in the rear wall hold the names of 34,888 missing soldiers.

A sombre, foreboding place; this cemetery contains the bodies of more than 40,000 German troops, over half of which lie in a mass grave. Here, your students will learn how Germany chose to remember its war dead and how their thoughts of war were shaped by the slaughter of the German pupil battalions by British regular troops in 1914, known as the Massacre of the Innocents, an important challenge to pre-war ideas of the glories of warfare. The entrance to the exhibition contains a memorial room dedicated specificallyto the dead of the Student Battalions. In the 1930s, the memory of this battle was incorporated into Hitler’s perverse Cult of the Dead. 

Probably most famous because of the connection between the preserved British bunker and the Canadian poet, John McCrae, this cemetery and the nearby canal bank, formerly the British Front Line, are also well worth visiting.

The largest and the most important of the British memorials to the Missing in The Salient, The Menin Gate holds the names of 54,896 soldiers of the British Empire. This memorial marked the start of one of the main roads out of Ypres towards the Front Line. Following a meal at a local restaurant, your students will witness the moving ‘Last Post Ceremony’ which takes place every evening at 8pm.

High Wood was of tremendous significance during the Battle of the Somme. The wood was first attacked on 14th July, 1916, but the British were unable to take it. The British 4th and the German 2nd and 1st armies continued to battle for control of the wood until the final assault on 15th September 1916.

The area is of interest because the war poets Robert Graves and Siegfried Sassoon served here with the First Battalion of the Royal Welch Fusiliers in early 1916. They mention many of the place names around here in their memoirs.

This burial site for some of the British Empire and Commonwealth troops killed during the Battle of the Somme. It is located near to the village of Mametz. The cemetery grounds were assigned to the British Empire in perpetuity by the French state in recognition of the sacrifices made by the Allies in the defence of France during World War I. Most of the graves are of men from the 8th and 9th Battalions of the Devonshire Regiment.

The result of a mine explosion on 1st July 1916, this is the largest surviving crater on the Western Front, and one of the most impressive sites on the Somme Battlefields.

This is the largest memorial to the British missing on the Western Front, containing the names of over 73,000 men who died in the Somme section before 20th March 1918 and have no known graves. The visitor centre houses an informative exhibition designed to aid understanding of the history of Thiepval during WWI.

Built as a memorial copy of the tower that the 36th Ulster Division had trained under in County Down, Northern Ireland, the tower marks the site against which the men of Ulster advanced on 1st July 1916. The northernmost 7km of the Somme Battlefield can be seen from here.

Undoubtedly one of the largest and best-preserved trench memorials on the Western Front. Just outside the park lies Hawthorn Crater, and within it are the ‘Danger Tree’ and remains of the British Front Line. The German Front Line can be seen across No Man’s Land. 

The Sunken Lane was a lane running in a north-south direction and situated in No Mans Land, halfway between the opposing front lines west of Beaumont Hamel village until the battle moved beyond the village in November 1916. 

Serre was a strongly fortified village held by the Germans at the beginning of the Battle of the Somme. The village marked the most northern point of the main attack on the 1st of July 1916.

Cemetery No. 2 has a total of 7,127 British and Commonwealth burials. Of these only 2,183 are identified. The cemetery was started in May 1917 when soldiers' remains were cleared after the territory around the cemetery came into British hands. Hundreds of soldiers had been killed in the vicinity of this cemetery in the British offensive of 1st July 1916 and it had not been possible to retrieve their bodies for almost a whole year.

Sheffield Memorial Park is preserved as a memorial to the Pals Battalions who fought west of Serre village in the Battle of the Somme 1916. 

The name of this small village, and of the nearby wood, is actually Ploegsteert, but to those who served here during WWI, it became known as ‘Plugstreet’. There were no major battles here and Ploegsteert remained in British possession during the major part of the war. However, there are cemeteries and other sites of interest on all sides of, as well as within the wood, including a plaque commemorating Winston Churchill. 

Hill 60 was heavily shelled and mined during WWI. The ground forming Hill 60 remains the final resting place for countless soldiers buried somewhere beneath its grassy foundations.

The hill proved to be an invaluable vantage point from which to view the wider battlefield and so was much sought and fought after by the allied and German forces.

St George's Memorial Church was built in commemoration of British and Commonwealth troops who lost their lives during WWI. The church is now a destination for many thousands of pilgrims who visit the battlefields of Flanders since the war ended in 1918.

This quiet village was of great importance during WWI.  As the war dragged on, desertion, cowardice and crime increasingly became a problem. To combat the problem, commanders began executing deserters and mutinous troops. The British shot 320 men and the French as many as 700. The Germans, by contrast, shot about 50.

In one of two cells near the Poperinge monument, where soldiers were held before their execution at dawn, is now a place to remember not just the heroics of war but also its horrors.

Nearby, the College Stanislas was the HQ of The Friends Ambulance – about 1,000 Quakers served in this unit on the Western Front and here students will look at the dilemmas, both moral and practical, faced by conscientious objectors during WWI.

In 1915, this British soldiers’ club, known as ‘Toc H’, opened to all ranks. Today, Talbot House is a fascinating living museum depicting daily life in the club. Groups are also able to visit the recently renovated concert hall where many recreational activities and concerts took place. 

There are a number of boulangeries in the region where your pupils will watch and listen to the baker describe, in French, the process of making traditional French bread and croissants, before getting the chance to produce and eat their own. 

Learn about the industry of chocolate making and combine the demonstrations of melting, moulding and coating with worksheets, a guided tour of the workshop (in English or French), and the chance to enjoy tasting samples!

Gain an insight into French farming and cheese making. There are also opportunities for cheese tasting and, at certain times of the year, to help milk the goats. 

This art museum, located in the city of Lens, displays objects from the collections of the Musée du Louvre that are lent to the gallery on a medium or long term basis.

Nausicaá promises you an unforgettable voyage to the heart of the Ocean! Discover the 1,600 species who call the Aquarium home. A visit here will convince you that the Ocean is not only a wondrous and rich resource; it is also the future of Mankind. This fascinating sea centre promotes learning through interactive exhibits. Groups can explore two amazing worlds: "Journey on the High Seas" and "Mankind and Shores". 

Nausicaa offer 1 hour educational workshops which will really bring your Geography trip to life. The workshops currently available are:
Zoom into Marine Life - Observe tiny fauna magnified thousands of times on a wide screen and discover the importance of a good water quality for survival of the species.
Calculate your ecological footprint - Thanks to a 20 question quiz, discover your ecological footprint and your impact on climate change!
Zoom into marine biodiversity - At the lab, pupils will observe tiny marine animals through microscopes. They will discover shared characteristics according to the classification of living beings.
Sharks! Not even scared! - Let’s discover the shark and its importance in the Ocean. Learn more about this fascinating animal and look at it differently.

 

The story of the cemetery - the largest hospital cemetery in the Ypres Salient area with almost 11,000 victims, representing 30 nationalities - is told in this new visitor centre. The exhibition includes a photo and listening wall where stories from the war can be discovered.

Spend a day at this fantastic theme park, home to a wonderful mix of rollercoasters, shows, animals and water features.

This port town provides several cultural experiences located close together. 

  • Take a guided tour of the town and practise your language skills with the local French guide. 
  • Explore the Roman old town, spending time in its shops and cafés and practising language skills. 
  • Pupils can also compare French life past and present. 
  • Local market days are Wednesday and Saturday. Pupils can interact with traders, build language confidence and pick up a bargain or two.

 

Home to over 5,000m² of wave pools and water slides that will keep your pupils active whilst they’re away.

Take a tour of the sweet factory located in Boulogne-sur-Mer, where pupils will learn from the French commentary, demonstrations and be able to taste the delicious sweets produced. 

Get a real taste of France! At a working snail farm, your group will learn how one of France’s most famous foods is reared. Then sit back and see which of your pupils will be first to sample one for themselves. 

This superb state-of-the-art, interactive museum is now an even richer experience with the updated larger museum. Covering most aspects of the war in Flanders, each visitor will receive a wristband that will take them on a journey in the museum through the eyes of someone who was there. Educational worksheets and study resources and workshops are available www.inflandersfields.be/en/educational-new

A production of RC Sheriff’s ground-breaking play exposing the tragedy and horror of conflict. ‘Journey’s End’ is set in a dugout over four days leading up to a massive German attack on the British trenches in 1917, it charts the tension, claustrophobia and cold terror experienced by a company of officers as new recruit, Lieutenant Raleigh, discovers Captain Stanhope, his childhood friend and hero, has changed almost beyond recognition. The play is performed at Ypres iconic Ammunitions Dump.

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