Moorside High School

Moorside High School

Life at Moorside High School Life at Moorside High School Life at Moorside High School Life at Moorside High School Life at Moorside High School Life at Moorside High School Life at Moorside High School Life at Moorside High School Life at Moorside High School Life at Moorside High School Life at Moorside High School Life at Moorside High School Life at Moorside High School Life at Moorside High School Life at Moorside High School Life at Moorside High School Life at Moorside High School Life at Moorside High School Life at Moorside High School Life at Moorside High School Life at Moorside High School Life at Moorside High School
A friendly, caring school with a family ethos

Battlefields trip

In July 2014, pupils from Moorside High School made the journey to France and Belgium to retrace the steps taken by the Salford Pals, a little over one hundred years earlier. The journey started at midnight as the coach departed from the school gates and by 6.30am the party of staff and pupils were at the docks in Dover. After a smooth crossing the party arrived in France and made their way to Ypres, where they were met by their guide (Willie Mohan)…

The first visit was to Tyne Cot, the largest British Military cemetery in the world and the party was immediately struck by the consequences of war: thousands of pristine perfect headstones stand as a memorial to those brave men who gave their today for our tomorrow. The morning was then followed by a very active afternoon, visiting areas of Belgium where the remains of the trench warfare still remain.

The second stop was at Langemarck, a Germany cemetery. The cemetery was dark and unwelcoming, in complete contrast to the British cemeteries that had been visited the day before. The trip prompted all kinds of emotions within the first 36 hours: heartache; fear and respect. The maturity of the pupils and eagerness to develop their knowledge of historic events was very impressive and something that was commented on throughout the trip to staff members.

As the trip continued, there was a visit to Flanders Fields Museum which gave the party the chance to personify the role of a number of actual First World War soldiers. A highlight of this part of the trip was an interactive wristband that told pupils the fate of their various characters. This promoted lively discussion; pupils questioning their fate and deliberating as to whether or not it was valid.

After tea that evening, two members of the party took part in laying a wreath on behalf of our school at the Menin Gate at the Last Post Ceremony. What a unique opportunity? Thousands were present, including Moorside High School’s proud party who watched on as James and Elizabeth laid a wreath on behalf of our school to show that ‘We will not forget our fallen heroes’. This was a very emotional moment, with pupils showing a level of maturity and honour that was heart-warming to witness. Elizabeth stated:

‘I was thrilled that I was chosen to lay the wreath on behalf of our school at Menin Gate, it was a huge honour for me to represent our school. I enjoyed visiting the places that we had learned about in class, it really brought the experience of war alive, it’s a trip that I will never forget.’

Elizabeth, Year 10

After a busy day the party was exhausted. Everyone checked into their accommodation in Lille, but all too soon the alarm clocks told them that it was time to begin another adventure!

The next day, the guide was eager to visit  Louveral to ensure that one of the party (Sophie) was able to visit the place where her great, great grandfather fought and fell. It was a moment when you could not help but think how important the school trip was. Sophie was the first member of her family to make such an unforgettable visit and what a visit it was!

The rest of the day was spent in the Somme area of France, a place where the Salford Pals fought so bravely for the liberty of others.  The tour guide took the party to the exact point where the Salford Pals fought and sadly, made the ultimate sacrifice. Pupils stood in a perfect line at the exact spot where so many of our community fell all that time ago, but we will not forget them.

As the party reached the Thiepval Memorial, James was able to find his great, great uncles name.  Again we stopped, reflected and gave thanks.

Our journey home was filled with the stories of the new found information that pupils had seen and learned, filled with pride that those from Salford had represented us in such a brave and valiant way.

Battlefields

 Further pupil reviews of the Battlefields trip:

‘I decide to go on the Battlefields trip because when we studied the First World War in school I investigated which members of my family had fought in the war and I discovered that my great, great granddad had fought and died during the war. When the opportunity came to visit the Battlefields I decided that I wanted to be the first member of family to re-trace the steps of my great, great granddad and to commemorate his life. It felt strange to visit his resting place and to see his name carved so neatly into the stone; I felt an amazing sense of pride. It was a great trip and one from which I learned do much, my favourite part of the trip was laying the wreath on behalf of our school at the point at where the Salford Pals fell.’

Sophie, Year 10

‘My sister had visited the Battlefields two years ago and when I heard that there was a chance for me to go to the Battlefields I just had to go. My aim was to visit the Thiepval Memorial where my great, great uncle is remembered. He had been killed during the Battle of the Somme and it was special to go a place where members of my family have been and make such a sacrifice. When I actually went to the Thiepval Memorial I was filled with a sense of pride and I would certainly advise others to visit the Battlefields.’

James, Year 10