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This is an online ITV news report published on the 20th May 2014.

School children from Midlands visit Western Front to learn about First World War

School children from across the Midlands have been learning more about the First World War as preparations get underway to mark the centenary of the conflict.

The teenagers visited the battlefields and war graves of the Western Front to experience, first hand, the horrors of war.

Over the next five years, two students from every school in the country will travel to Belgium and Northern France, on tours organised by the Institute of Education (IOE).

Jerome Freeman, from the IOE said the project is hugely significant:

The First World War, between 1914 and 1918, was centred on Europe, but countries from all over the world were involved in the conflict, which claimed the lives of more than nine million soldiers.

The youngsters visited Ypres in Belgium, the scene of some of the biggest battles in history.

The town was seen as a final barrier between the Germans and Channel ports of Calais and Boulogne.

The allies, including the British, French, Belgians and Indians, were determined to hold onto it to prevent the Germans invading Northern France.

The students, from schools in Worcestershire, Staffordshire, Birmingham and Warwickshire also stood alongside serving soldiers at Menin Gate, a memorial to fallen soldiers.

It contains the names of 54,896 servicemen whose bodies were never found.

Hundreds gather as the Last Post sounds at Menin Gate every evening at 8pm, a ceremony that has been taking place 365 days of the year since 1928.

The teenagers said they planned to return with their parents and said it was an experience they will never forget.




Institure of Education [Logo] First World War Centeneary [Logo] Best Educational Product [Logo] Education Award

Department for Education [Logo] Department for Communities and Local Government

Commonwealth Wargraves Commission [Logo] Guild of Battlefield Guides [Logo] Lives of the First World War [Logo] BBC News School Report [Logo] NSI [Logo]