Battlefields 2013 – Coach 1 – Day 3 PM (25th May) – The Ypres Salient

Posted: May 26, 2013 in Uncategorized
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Day 3 has been so much fun so far! We have been able to really connect with the soldiers and the conditions they had live in. We have just come back from the preserved trenches at Messines Ridge. We got to experience what it was like for soldiers in the trenches. We have also learnt a lot, like how far they actually dug the mines shafts (90 feet!) and the building materials they used. It was incredible to experience the trenches in that way. It was much more relatable going to the trenches than just seeing them in a picture. This morning we also visited the ‘Pool Of Peace’ which was a crater caused by the explosives used to blow up the German trenches. The whole crater, that went 90ft deep, was filled with water because of the high water table in this area. It was truly beautiful, with trees all around the edge and lily pads covering the pool. However the effects of the crater its self is a lot more sinister, and we learnt a lot from that. Both of these were well worth the visit.

~Amrita, Alice and Lissie

Newfoundland Park

Newfoundland Park

Bayernwald German Trenches - Messines

Bayernwald German Trenches – Messines

 

Today we got up quite early and had a nice breakfast. Although there wasn’t very much choice, it was nice not having a hot breakfast everyday! When we finished having breakfast we packed up out stuff, cleared our rooms and made our way back onto the coaches ready for another day of visiting some more cemeteries. After a couple of cemeteries we visited a German trench that we could walk around and explore. When it came to lunch we drove to a Ypres and had some free time in little groups of our friends, and wandered round to buy some presents for back home with our money. Then we visited a few more cemeteries before catching our boat home.

~Ellie

Messines Ridge

Messines Ridge

 

Today we got up at 5:30 a bit too early – which wasn’t as bad as yesterday. We had a broken sleep, but at least the showers were hot. Breakfast was good, although it wasn’t even close to the amazing ferry food!
We visited a few small memorial yards which were good, and some people found possible ancestors and took some time near their graves. We also visited a place that looked suspiciously like a pond but was in fact the place of the largest man made explosion of the time, it was heard in London! Many soldiers were killed, and some even killed from the sound waves their actual bodies were fully intact. The explosion created a massive crater (approx 80-90′ deep). We then went to some preserved trenches and had a little exploring trip around them, we found bunkers and some of us ventured into them. The final place we visited today was the biggest British war memorial in the world! It was massive! The sheer size of it put everything into perspective, it was immense! 2/3 of the whole place had unnamed soldiers and the read ‘a soldier of the great war’ some had their division but not all. It made us feel like little specs in history, we will never have the bravery and spirit of these men, they stuck it out through all the odds but unfortunately they are no longer with us to share there experiences with us. But we still look up to them. And behalf of everyone we’d like to say a big thank you to all the staff that made this trip possible, it has been a real eye-opener!

~Rachel & Kate

Bayernwald German Trenches - Messines

Bayernwald German Trenches – Messines

Tyne Cot Cemetery - Ypres

Tyne Cot Cemetery – Ypres

 

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