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PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2018 6:22 pm 
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My DS is taking History for GCSE and, for various reasons, I suspect he won't go on the residential trip (please don't judge - it is what it is :( ). We were thinking of making a family holiday to include a WW1 memorial that is relevant to us but at the same time is relevant to his course. Do schools always visit the same sites and if so which ones? He is at JHGS but I can't find anything that shows where they go for the trip. We have family connections with Passchendaele so I want to bring that into it if it doesn't conflict with the curriculum.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2018 6:51 pm 
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Location: Buckinghamshire
I have no knowledge of the curriculum but I recommend a trip to Ypres. It’s a nice town, the Menin Gate is very moving, as are the cemeteries in the surrounding area. It’s a relatively easy drive from Calais as well.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2018 7:35 pm 
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A couple of summers ago we spent an holiday in the Somme area and it is a very lovely place.

We travelled all over from our base in Fort Mahon - might not be everybody's cup of tea as a town but we were late booking, it is on a beautiful beach and it is very French (we heard no other English voices or saw any other GB cars for a week) in addition San Valerie Sur Somme, and Montreuille Sur Mer (sp) are both lovely towns as is Hesdin.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2018 7:41 pm 
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Thank you both. Do you know what cemeteries to visit? Are they much of a muchness? Passchendaele is where DS's Gt Grandad lost a leg... think that would bring it home more than a random field (if you know what I mean; they are all important and worth remembering). I am not trying to make this a "heavy" trip but just a brief visit and hoping it is in line with the curriculum.

From what I can tell my grandad fought at the Somme too so that might be worth exploring. I don't want to make it educational-heavy though so I need to choose. Has anyone visited the Passchendaele museum?


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2018 7:54 pm 
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Location: Buckinghamshire
We visited Tyne Cot cemetery. We have no particular link to that or the Menin Gate but the museum at the cemetery does a very moving job of telling some personal stories of the young men buried there, their biographies pieced together through letters to and from home, family information and so on. From a personal point of view, I have no relatives who lost their lives in that conflict but the way the individual stories are told is extremely sobering and was a very valuable, personal perspective on what is otherwise studied as the enormous world war that it was, with little chance to get the perspective of what it meant to individual families, villages, communities and towns.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2018 8:02 pm 
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Location: Solihull, West Midlands
if you can find even a distant family member's grave to visit it does make it more poignant - a couple of years ago DH and managed to track down two great uncles, both called Percy (one on each side of the family) who were killed within a few miles and a couple of months of each other in 1917. (EDITED TO ADD - I had been doing some family history research) One was buried in a tiny, immaculately kept cemetery by a rural side road south of Ypres: the other in a military section of a municipal cemetery in a suburb of a French town... Check https://www.cwgc.org/ to see if there is a known grave

We also visited the Menin Gate, the Canadian monument high on Vimy Ridge, a vast German cemetery, the fascinating museum at Ypres (a lovely town, with cobbled streets, walls to walk round etc) and a couple of other sites where you could explore old trenches etc (One more carefully manicured than the other...). I think we also visited another fascinating site near Arras where tunnels were constructed to break the siege

But after too much of this the weight of history can become overwhelming even for adults with an interest so be sure to look for some other things to do. Possibly chocolate related?? We weren't travelling with children/teenagers but I'm sure others will have suggestios


Last edited by solimum on Sun Jul 08, 2018 8:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2018 8:04 pm 
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#Thank you anotherdad ... I have seen Tyne Cot on line so I will check that out. Basically, I think this is a one shot experience so I want to make sure it is the right one (for the family and for the curriculum)


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2018 8:10 pm 
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BucksBornNBred, I have sent you a pm.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2018 8:14 pm 
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There are some photos in the gallery on the website. Why not ask where they go?


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2018 8:44 pm 
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I found Vimy Ridge quite stunning, until we visited there I hadn't appreciated quite how close the opposing trenches were to each other. Whilst the large cemeteries are hugely powerful I think was perhaps more moved by the roadside ones with just a dozen or so graves, all immaculately maintained, but just "there" on the edge of a wheatfield with no great monument or pomp and circumstance :(

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