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French History Trip 2018

On the 8th June, Year 9 travelled to the North of France where we visited many cemeteries and museums which were dedicated to all the fallen of World War 1. Each place had its own story and the History teachers definitely added that little bit more with their own accounts or added information on the events that had taken place. The sheer number of graves and memorials really gave perspective as to how tragic this war was. For example, the huge monument in Thiepval where over 72,000 men rest. Yet the most significant place for me were the Railway Dugouts in Ypres (Belgium) where we had a ceremony to commemorate the death of our fallen RGS boys and Frederick Youens VC specifically. I found it very touching particularly when the ‘Last Post’ was played by a Year 9 boy.

At the end of each day, we were cheerfully greeted by our French families in Armentières. For me, meeting the people that I would be staying with for the next three days was a little daunting. However, after a conversation, I felt very welcome. The immersion in language has certainly helped with our speaking and comprehension of French. We were given the task to pick up some new everyday phrases from our French families which I feel has also extended our vocabulary. Most of mine was picked up from the day out with my family on the third day of the trip where I went to a Medieval show.

Overall, in my opinion, this trip has given us a new view on the battles fought from over one hundred years ago that just cannot be conveyed in a lesson at school. In addition to this, the new experience gained from spending time with the French families has proved invaluable towards our French and has been something that I’m sure many have thoroughly enjoyed.

Christopher Wilson