Groups of students from Woodlands School in Basildon have visited the Peace Village at Messines, Ypres, Belgium along with students from Gesamtschule, in Basildon’s twin town of Heiligenhaus, Germany and a school in Aachen, Germany.
During their stay the students visited both German and British Cemeteries and had guided tours around two museums.
They also visited Talbot House in Ypres. Two of the Basildon boys knew they had ancestors who fought and died in WW1 and we were able to visit their graves and memorial sites.
They took part in a re-enactment of the Christmas day truce watched by Alison Rose, the British Ambassador to Belgium and a reception was held afterwards.
Since their return, parents have spoken of how the visit was emotional and informative and how the children enjoyed being part of the experience which is sponsored by the Heritage
Lottery as part of the’ Forget Never Sacrifice & Legacy’ project which has, over the last four years, been helping students take part in events to commemorate 100 years since WW1.
One parent said: “From what my son tells me it was an amazing and emotional experience one he’ll never forget.
Another commented: “I’m immensely proud my son is part of this amazing experience gaining lifetime memories’ And finally: “I would like to say a massive thank you, for giving the children such a great opportunity to learn about the past and those never forgotten.”