Wooler school pupils set to visit First World War battlefields

Wooler History Society's Richard Waters with Glendale Middle School pupils Sarah Larmour and Ruari Fletcher and their history teacher Jenny Hall.
Wooler History Society's Richard Waters with Glendale Middle School pupils Sarah Larmour and Ruari Fletcher and their history teacher Jenny Hall.

Two student ambassadors from Glendale Middle School have been given the incredible opportunity to visit some of the First World War battlefields in Europe.

The two Year 8 pupils will visit sites in France and Belgium as part of the Government’s Centenary Education Programme.

Glendale Middle pupils Rauri Fletcher and Sarah Larmoury who will be representing the school on a visit to French battle field sites

Glendale Middle pupils Rauri Fletcher and Sarah Larmoury who will be representing the school on a visit to French battle field sites

Costing around £5.3million in total, the project allows two pupils and a teacher from every secondary school in England to go on a four-day tour of the battlefields funded by the Department of Education and the Department for Communities and Local Government.

Accompanied by their history teacher, Jenny Hall, Sarah Larmour and Ruari Fletcher will leave Wooler on Sunday on a trip that is sure to be emotional and enlightening.

To select which pupils would go, Mrs Hall asked them all to write her a letter, explaining why the wanted to go and what they hoped to get out of the trip.

Ruari, 12, said that he was desperate to go to find out what part his family played in the Great War.

He said: “My great uncle died in the Second World War so I’d really like to learn about him and the connections my family have to the war.”

Sarah, also 12, admitted that she doesn’t really know very much about the First World War at the minute, but wanted to go to find out more.

She said: “I wanted to go because I thought it was a really good opportunity to learn about the history of the war and the people that came from here. I’ve never been abroad before either so I’m really excited.”

As one of more than 1,000 secondary schools taking part in the scheme, the pupils from Glendale will get a chance to see some of the great battlefields and memorial sites that contributed to the war effort 100 years ago, like Flanders Field Museum and Tyne Cot Cemetery.

As part of the trip, the pupils will be involved in an art workshop where they will create a terracotta figure to form part of an installation, along with the figures made by children all over the country.

One their return, Sarah and Ruari plan to share their knowledge and experience with the rest of their year group as they embark on a project about the conflict.

Mrs Hall said: “This trip is going to kick-start a school project all about the First World War that we’re very excited about. Ruari and Sarah are going to do assemblies to our school and the first school to share their experience.”