Pupils moved by visit to the battle fields

Claremont History Club
Claremont History Club

Young History Club members from Claremont School spent an unforgettable day at the Somme during the recent half-term break.

The visit had been inspired by a recent project to create a Claremont First World War Book of Remembrance.

This book is based on the research carried out over the summer by members of the Claremont community into the lives of their ancestors who served in the First World War.

Pupils visited three cemeteries where memorial crosses were placed on the graves of soldiers with a connection to the school. They also visited the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing which has inscribed upon it the names of 72,195 men who were killed during the Battle of the Somme, but have no known grave.

They also visited the South African Memorial in Delville Wood, which was the scene of ferocious battle between 15th July and 3rd September 1916.

This action saw the devastation of the wood and just one tree from the original wood survives today.

At the Lochnagar Mine, the huge crater that resulted from the blast is now a very poignant memorial, which is a reminder of the horrors of war and the extensive loss of life.

The final visit of the day was to the Newfoundland Memorial at Beaumont-Hamel.

Here pupils stood on the front line marked by a unique caribou statue and visited the ‘danger tree’ which marked no man’s land during part of the Somme offensive. They were able to see and go into trenches dating from 1916.