The Unforgettable Battlefields

11th September 2023

 Our 11s who study History had this amazing opportunity to visit the WW1 Battlefields in Ypres, to provide some vivid context for their work on this topic.

Travelling there and back in the same day, it is always a privilege to share this unforgettable and deeply emotional experience with students.

Our itinerary included:

Bayernwald trench system
Creating the Western Front; the development of Trench warfare; daily routine; conditions in the trenches. Issues of health and hygiene in the trenches; comparison between battlefield casualties to illness in previous conflicts – what changes?
Hill 60
The development of mine warfare in the Great War; the use of poison gas and its effects;  the differing nature of battlefield wounds; medical treatment on the battlefield; how do you move casualties on the battlefield?  The role of Medical Officers and Stretcher Bearers.
Hooge Crater Museum
Former site of an Advanced Dressing Station (ADS) and location of an excellent museum containing a brand new hospital-classroom. What was an ADS and what medical staff and equipment would you expect to find there? A guide-led demonstration of the triage process using period medical equipment and supplies. Development of new techniques and technologies. The use of x-rays; blood transfusions and the Thomas Splint.
Railway Dugouts Burial Ground (Transport Farm) 
How are casualties transported; the role of the RAMC; Infection, trauma and blood loss; Rev. Edgar Noel Moore MC – the role of Padres on the Front Line; ethos of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.
Lijssenthoek CWGC cemetery
Former Casualty Clearing Station (CCS) and largest hospital cemetery in the Ypres Salient; how are casualties transported from ADS to CCS; the role of Nursing Staff including FANY; the role of surgeons and the development of new medical techniques; treating gas casualties; abdominal wounds etc; What happens to those who don’t make it? The role and ethos of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. An opportunity for reflection and a chance to lay a Poppy wreath.