Flanders pilgrimage - Hurstpierpoint College

Flanders pilgrimage

77 Year 7 pupils and 10 staff visit Ypres

Last Friday, 77 intrepid Year 7 pupils and 10 members of staff visited Ypres and the Flanders battlefields for the annual pilgrimage.

Despite the very early start everyone was in good spirits and ready to honour the sacrifice made by the 112 former pupils and staff who laid down their lives in the First World War. The packed itinerary included a visit to the preserved trenches at Sanctuary Wood, the cemetery and preserved dressing station at Essex Farm, where John McCrae wrote In Flanders Fields, and the German cemetery at Langemaark, Tyne Cot, when a brief service of remembrance was held and the Last Post was played flawlessly by Fin W. The group also stopped at the Menin Gate, In Flanders Fields Museum and the inevitable Belgian chocolate shop.

It was a very long day as the group did not return until very late, but the pupils were a credit to the school and all found the day very worthwhile and an incredibly moving experience.

“The poppies we wore for the service included the name of a former pupil or member of staff who had paid the ultimate sacrifice and I hope the pupils will remember their names when they are read out at the Prep School remembrance service in November,” Philip Jacques, Teacher of Humanities.