In the Trenches at Ypres

9th September 2022

Year 11's GCSE topic Medicine Through Time was brought to life when we travelled to Ypres in Belgium last month. Students understanding of how medicine improves over time was deepened by this focus on World War One and medicine in the trenches. They spent some time in a trench, to see where soldiers were fighting and the kinds of conditions they lived in. They also visited Hooge Crater Museum, where they acted out the chain of evacuation. This is invaluable in helping them understanding the role WW1 had in developing our medical understanding and practise. They ended with a visit to Lijssenthoek CWGC cemetery which was a former Casualty Clearing Station (CCS) and the largest hospital cemetery in the Ypres Salient. Here they looked at how casualties were transported, the role of nursing staff, the role of surgeons and the development of new medical techniques; treating gas, casualties; abdominal wounds.

And finally, the truth of war, what happens to those who don’t make it? We were able to pay our respects to a soldier we discovered who lived in Redhill and we lay a poppy wreath on his grave.