The itinerary will include locations associated with key works of First World War literature. Visiting them will allow you to deepen your understanding of the historical context of the literature and learn more about the actual locations which inspiring much of the wartime literature. We plan to look at a wide range of literature from the period ranging from poems, novels and memoirs, to war diaries and newspapers including:
- An exploration of the themes of community and comradeship, courage, cowardice and social class associated including RC Sherriff’s Journey's End and Michael Morpurgo’s Private Peaceful, visiting Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery, Talbot House and the Cells in Poperinge, and the excellent Passchendaele Memorial Museum.
- A visit to Essex Farm Cemetery near Ypres where John McCrae wrote his iconic poem In Flanders Field
- A full day on the Battlefields of the Somme, with the itinerary tracing the footsteps of the War Poets including Rupert Brooke, Julian Grenfell, Charles Sorley, Will Street and Siegfried Sassoon, plus author authors such as Frederick Manning and George Coppard.
- The landscape around Thiepval which provided the inspiration for JRR Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings
- A exploration of how Erich Remarque’s devastating novel All Quiet on the Western Front reflected the reality of life on the Somme
On the October 2017 tour, staff and students will also attend a very special production of JOURNEY’S END, being staged at Ypres’ iconic Ammunitions Dump.
Students on all tours will also participate in a pottery workshop to contribute to the development of the Flanders government’s new official memorial to all those who died in Flanders a century ago and participate in the moving Last Post Ceremony at the Menin Gate on the final evening of the tour.